June 07, 2021
James was launching his Substack soon, and he asked if I could design a logo and banner.
We had previously worked together on several of his fund’s blog posts (James is a Partner at Level One Fund, a growth stage VC fund) and I was excited to help design the aesthetic of this new one. Cultured Meat News would be about cultured (or lab grown) meat, a market that his fund is starting to focus on a lot.
James had some strong ideas for both the banner and logo, and mentioned that they were starting points from which I could build on. Best of all, he sent me a quick sketch of his vision for the banner. I love it when clients provide these, as they go a long way in getting us on the same page. A picture really is worth a thousand words sometimes.
There was only one thing that I felt was missing from James’ very well-thought out plan, and that was a color palette. I wanted the palette and art style to be established at this early stage, to give the newsletter a strong visual identity from day one.
So with that in mind, I made a quick sketch of the banner to use as small thumbnails upon which I could swatch some color themes and see how they looked. I started with the two broad categories: warm or cool tones.
I advised that the warm palette would work best if his posts would feature a lot of imagery of food, farm/agriculture/etc while cool colors would fit better with stuff that's more technical and scientific.
James very smartly went with the option that fit best with his content (the cool-toned palette) rather than what he personally liked better. I applaud this sort of decision-making. What’s best for the product/audience can be different from what one personally likes, and it’s smart to consciously separate the two.
With that choice made, we then tweaked the colors/saturation a bit more, until we had something James was really happy with.
Now that the color palette has been established, I moved on to the substance of the banner itself.
James had asked me to add more to it if I had any ideas, and I sure did have a few ideas. The best of which was the pointing drumsticks as a parody of the "same Spiderman" meme. I thought it might be a funny way to indicate the similarity of animal vs lab-grown meat. Thankfully, James thought so too!
Once the draft was approved, I created the final version:
But despite being called the “final,” there’s still room for edits at this stage! Sometimes issues/new ideas only come to light after seeing it in this final form and if it doesn't require massive restructuring, then I’m happy to keep tweaking it. In this instance, James had the idea of adding a few muscle cells to the syringe.
I created some mockups of the logo since that was next on the docket. James’ idea involved the letters “CMN,” but I didn’t know what sort of font he had in mind so I mocked up a few thumbnails that he could choose from.
James liked the first one! From here, it was a quick finalization.
A few more final touches were added to the banner, and we were all set! James has not only a logo and banner ready to go for this Substack launch, he also has a color palette and art style established. All his posts will have a strong visual identity and cohesiveness from the very start, setting it apart from the sea of stock photos.
You can check out the newsletter here, and please subscribe if you’re into this rapidly evolving and exciting frontier of green food tech! I myself am very excited to stay on top of this news, as someone who is both an environmentalist and a person on a high protein diet.
If you’re interested in a similar package for your own blog, or in cartoons/illustrations for an established blog, you can find more information about the packages I offer here!
“Having worked with Loraine on a number of projects I was excited to see what she would create for the Substack newsletter I’ve been working on. I often have specific ideas or thematic guidelines for each cartoon, and each time Loraine crafts these into something that works both artistically and contextually in my writing.
For my Substack I needed cartoons that would capture the spirit of a new and exciting industry that I’ll be writing about, and the result exceeded my expectations!”
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