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Sebastopol Microgreens is the recipient of Sloat Design Group's first annual Farm to Shelf Service Grant. Lark & Leaf is a new line of microgreen teas created by the growers at Sebastopol Microgreens farm in Sonoma County, CA. The teas blend uncommonly delicious flavors with the health benefits that the small plants are renowned for.

The project awarded included developing the farm’s brand strategy, logo, and package design for their new line of microgreen teas. Here’s how we did it..

We met with Kathy Patterson and Stacey Schuett, the co-owners of Lark & Leaf, to tour their greenhouses and the new drying house for their tea. We learned about the growing practices and nutritional benefits of microgreens and even had a chance to sample a few of the many varieties they were growing while we were there. To dig deeper, we had key decision-makers answer survey questions to get a better sense of the personality and style they envisioned for their brand.

With a thorough understanding of our client, their products, and their business goals, we set out to gain perspective on the artisan tea industry, its consumers, and the retail environment. We sampled Lark & Leaf’s new amaranth tea and browsed the shelves of local supermarkets and specialty food stores for inspiration and current trends.

The brand strategy is a culmination of our findings from steps 1 and 2. We presented our key insights, along with areas of opportunity and recommended brand positioning. All of this information was boiled down to the defined Brand Pillars which represent the enduring elements at the heart of the organization. These pillars inform the brand personality and all marketing touch points so the designs accurately represent the brand.

Before starting the design phase, we reviewed a few dierent styles that could represent Lark & Leaf’s Brand Pillars, while also differentiating them from other similar products and appealing to their target audience. We all agreed that a combination of “Industrial” and “Ultra Premium” had the greatest potential for the novelty of the brand and the high-quality ingredients that went into their delicious tea blends.

Before designing the graphics that go on the package, we helped Lark & Leaf design and source the box structure that would hold the tea. The structure selected kept the box and lid as one piece, driving down the overall printing costs, and the hinged lid allows consumers to easily access the individually wrapped tea bags inside. The recycled kraft material was in line with their sustainability initiatives and lent itself to the desired industrial-chic look and feel.

Several logos were presented, all attempting to convey the artisinal yet premium feel of the new Lark & Leaf brand. Ultimately, the final design was chosen for its clever play on the symbolism in their name and the overall elegant and sophisticated feel of the imagery and type.

The new branding was extended to their line of teas. The kraft box and sophisticated graphics highlight both the natural yet ultra-premium quality of their product. No expense was spared during the printing process - gold leaf was used in the logo and for the product descriptor. The logo was also embossed on the bottom of the box in a decorative pattern. Elements of the package design were extended to a stationery system, e-commerce website, and signage.

If you are a local farmer and have a product to sell, we would love for you to apply for our next grant!