Client: Iced Cakes & Confections
Capacity: Freelance Designer
Role: Branding and Visual Identity/UI
After 5 years in business, Iced Cakes & Confections – a local Austin high-end wedding cake bakery – decided to expand their company into a new sister business: Indulgence. With the purpose of creating and shipping high quality, innovative macarons to customers, Indulgence was created. Iced Cakes & Confections (ICC) wanted Indulgence to have a very clear distinct voice and design to avoid confusion. Therefore, the questions posed were:
How might we create a brand identity that was an unique and separate entity from its sister company, ICC?
How might we extend this new visual identity into the digital space?
Create a unique and distinctive brand identity for Indulgence as well as a style guide to support the launch of the new business and gain customer traction.
Showcase how the brand extends into the digital space: design a beautiful, simple website for Indulgence that allows a customer to easily place an order for a Macaron Subscription Service. Clean, luxurious, simple, quick, user friendly. Mobile, desktop, social media.
Created visual Identity that 72.2% of users accurately targeted as the intended brand vision
Designed product that reduced one ingredient cost by 96% and increased production efficiency by 22.5%
Designed UX/UI for website launch with sign of approval from Client
I conducted an interview with the head of the company to get a better understanding about what she wanted to express to her potential customers and who those customers were.
- Indulgence was not to mimic ICC (light, floral, feminine, and colorful)
- Key word: Luxurious. Indulgence would be catering to a want rather than a need, therefore it was important for the customers to feel like they are getting a high quality, satisfying product worth buying.
The main goal was to convince the customer that Indulgence was worth, well, indulging in.
Thirdly, in order to ensure Indulgence would stand out from the crowd, I researched the competitors. I noticed most companies use frilly, feminine styles, Parisian-like fonts, rosy, pink color schemes, and hand drawn, sketch-like imagery. Overall, the competitors took a more feminine, soft, Parisian style for their companies.
I created a sketch board with a wide range of 30+ possible solutions. To stray away from ICC, the competitors, and to keep the visual identity clean and elegant, I focused on a minimal, clean, modern theme for branding. I stuck with neutral colors: black, white, gray, as well as a warmer off white tone which I collected from the product itself: the macaron shell color. To bring some more warmth and sense of luxury I also chose a matte version of tarnished gold.
I chose a lightweight sans serif font for the typography to stay modern and simple, and utilized lowercase headings to keep it distinctive. I wanted the customer to feel fancy and elegant, as well as evoke a sense of trust between them and the company.
I also designed the visual look for the product. I designed a look for each macaron to keep it’s natural color with a swipe or splatter of color across the top to indicate the flavor inside. This not only elevates the product to look more sophisticated but cuts down on the cost of ingredients as well as the labor time. Because of this, the macarons can be made in much larger batches therefore increasing efficiency.
I then created a mood board to gather my favorite ideas.
Once I had complied my ideas into a mood board I was able to create the logo. I went back to my sketch board to draw the first ideas that came to mind.
- Geometric design: associated with respect, expertise, and intelligence.
- Script font : evokes a feeling of sophistication - but also replicates handwriting for a more personal, friendly touch.
I then translated this design into an alternate logo to have some more adaptability for smaller scale products like headers, small icons, social media, etc.
Once I had all of the key elements I designed an official style guide as well as a business card mock up for any future products and sites to keep brand identity strong.
I conducted user research by sending out 20 sample products in on-brand packaging across the country. Testing for how the brand was perceived, I included a questionnaire regarding the customers experience. Success would be defined as the majority of customers would regard the quality of the product as high, and describe their experience as above average/luxurious. Through these tests I was able to confirm that the consumer’s overall consensus was that the packaging, logo, and branding evoked a sense of luxury, quality, and excitement.
" they felt like a special treat, not an everyday cookie or dessert that I can get at the grocery store."
"elegant and understated"
"...the box was simple, the design on the macarons were beautiful. Quite elegant, I can see this being amazing for a shower or event!"
"[name redacted] especially loved the idea and thought that went into the packaging as well as the branding."
As before, I researched as many food/bakery websites and apps I could find and took note of their layouts and designs. I went through each website's flow to order a product online and noted the interactions I had that I did and didn’t enjoy. I also took note of certain visual UI designs that sparked my interest for the website I was to design as well.
I sketched over 25 ideas for the website design based off my research as well as created a map for how the website should flow with my favorites.
I then designed a simple website in order for future customers to sign up for the macaron subscription service.
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To show how the branding extends into the digital space I showcased this website in a mobile setting as well as through social media. I referenced the style guide and implemented the photography guidelines as well as the color and logo choices. I presented these high fidelity mock ups to to the client.
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This project was successful as all the needs of the client were met within the given deadline, and the user research was able to back up the results. I was able to create an accurate, unique brand for the launch of a new business. I was able to measure the success of the branding by the outcome of my user research as well as confirming with the client about their needs. The client was very satisfied with the end result and is moving forward with the visual identity and website I created.
How does this design benefit the business?
This design benefits the business because it portrays the business and product in the correct light. It will be able to reach the target market easily to ensure product sales. The product design itself will increase efficiency in production and cut down on product/inventory costs by reducing the amount of gel food coloring used by 90%.
How does this design benefit the customer?
This branding design ensures the customer understands the quality and purpose of the product. It conveys a message to comfort the customer that the product is of high caliber. The desktop and mobile website design is also accessible and easy to use, creating a positive user experience.