Custom Logo Design, Responsive Website Design and Brand Kit for a Toronto Startup
We love pets. In fact, my dog comes to work with me every day and ensures that at some point in the day he takes “me” out for a walk to help me clear my head and step away from the screen for a bit, even if just to brainstorm without the distraction of email and the flashing light on my office phone.
In the fall of 2015, Kristin Matthews and Peter Zakarow invited me to sit down for a coffee in order to chat about a new business venture they were embarking on; Tom&Sawyer Pet Meals.
Having worked with Peter previously on another project, and having created a beautiful logo and website design together, I was happy to accept the invitation and welcome the challenge of collaborating on the creation of the new brand, packaging, and website design for their Toronto-based startup.
Tom&Sawyer Pet Meals was created with a fundamental goal to feed not only Kristin and Peter’s dog, Sawyer, but to feed everyone’s pet with fresh and healthy human-grade meals, just like the rest of the family. In the eyes of Kristin and Peter, Tom&Sawyer Pet Meals had to be created. Pet food, in general, is poorly regulated and many people unknowingly feed their pets sub-par pet food that lacks important nutrition, let alone true enjoyment for their pet.
Under the guidance of a veterinarian and pet nutritionist, Tom&Sawyer Pet Meals and their small team of passionate pet parents created a menu of freshly prepared pet food that only contains ingredients found in your average refrigerator. Now with their newly opened brick and mortar shop and café in Leslieville, pets and their humans, can come to enjoy a uniquely casual experience with food, snacks, and beverages.
Fortunately for everyone involved in the creation of Tom&Sawyer’s Pet Meals brand, there was no hard timeline or budget, which allowed everyone to work at a comfortable pace and thoroughly consider and explore many different ideas at each and every phase of the brand design project. Through our initial strategy session with Kristin and Peter, we began with the logo design and what would become the cornerstone of the brand.
Our Toronto website design company, Parachute Design has a fun questionnaire we like to run through with all of our clients. The questionnaire is full of what seems like silly off-the-cuff questions that stealthily help us better understand the personalities behind the brand we’re tasked with creating. Through this process, we also identified the target audience as local males and females aged 25-65 with above-average disposable income.
Additionally, a key piece of the online business model focuses on customer’s ability to create a subscription through the website in order to have freshly prepared pet food delivered right to their door without having to visit the brick and mortar shop.
Our Design Process
Tasked with the creation of a complete brand that covers multimedia from scratch is a tall order in and of itself. Fortunately, Parachute Design has been honing our craft as a Toronto-based web design company for nearly 15 years and we’ve stockpiled the experience and track record to tackle these projects head-on with confidence. Our approach to web design for startups is organised and straightforward.
Design Strategy and Research
As with all branding projects, we kicked off with a fun questionnaire to help us establish how founders Kristin and Peter not only envisioned the brand but also what type of personality they wanted to weave into the brand from their personal lives and experiences. When paired with competitor analysis and loads of experience working in the pet food marketing industry, we were able to create a brand that encompassed the key points of our collective goals and research to offer a distinct and appealing look for the target audience.
The Tom&Sawyer Pet Meals logo design was especially unique in that along with our initial doodles and sketches, Kristin also offered her own ideas on paper throughout the concept development process. In some revisions, Kristin would take our sketch and make it her own to illustrate alternative ideas and various other forms we could explore before landing on the final logo design applied to Tom&Sawyer marketing materials today. This process was truly the definition of working together with our client to create a winning logo and brand that everyone could be proud of.
Tom&Sawyer was able to handle various forms internally, such as apparel and labels, while Parachute Design took the lead on the major marketing pieces for the initial launch in order to build a solid brand foundation. Together, through some brainstorming sessions and some trial and error with forms and sizes, we put together a clear and contemporary package design that could be managed in-store to meet the needs of the staff preparing the fresh pet food meals each day.
We continued the brand expansion by tackling both the interior and exterior signage while the Leslieville café shop was being renovated ahead of the official launch. This required a couple trips down to the job site to take measurements, chat with the sign maker, and get a sense of the space before we applied the brand elements throughout.