Our new brand generation and design for maple syrup Buckwud has just been shortlisted for a prestigious Design Week award. It has been quite a hit with judging panels, with six accolades to date, including a gold Design Effectiveness award. With that in mind, we wanted to celebrate with a closer look behind the creation process of this new, and very exciting brand, and spoke to Caroline Gates, lead designer on Buckwud, to get her take on how the project developed, from brief to shelf.
What was the focus of the client brief?
CG: We were briefed to create a new maple syrup brand and packaging that would stand out on shelf and communicate the authenticity and purity of the product.
How do you approach a new brand creation project, and how does it feel to be given a blank canvas to work on?
CG: Obviously it's very exciting! With a brief so wide, my first approach is to find out as much as possible about the product: information and knowledge helps my creative process. I delved into the history, culture and traditions surrounding maple syrup, researching until the 'quirks' behind the product were revealed.
Working in this way helps us to understand and know a product in and out and beyond the category cues, and to discover the unique traits that will help to differentiate the new brand from all the others on shelf.
What did the research reveal?
CG: We started at the beginning researching the history and process of making maple syrup. It was exciting to find a wealth of myths and legends surrounding the origins of maple syrup as well as stories of how the syrup was made centuries ago, and that the process is still pretty similar today. This seemed the perfect way to convey that this product was special and trustworthy.
We wanted the brand to be fun and quirky but informative and educational. I had never realised that Maple Syrup was a Native Canadian product and wanted to share this discovery.
What are the little images on the pack?
CG: We researched the various languages and cultures of the 'First Peoples' and using pictograms were able to create a new visual language to illustrate the products past. Pictograms are one of the oldest forms of art and semiotics, some native american pictographs date back to 3000 years ago and are a wonderful insight in to how people lived in these times.
Many of the icons used in the Buckwud language are authentic symbols that have been found through out North America.
And where did the name come from?
CG: The name was also derived from the Native Canadian culture, 'Sinzibuckwud' was the description for maple syrup meaning drawn from wood, so we broke this down to create a fun, catchy and memorable name.
Why do you think Buckwud has been such a success so far?
CG: Because it is noticeable on shelf, it is so different from everything else in the category, and above all, it's fun!