Student Design Project
Mountain Sweet Honey Company is a homegrown beekeeping outfitter and educator from the mountains of Georgia. Mountain Sweet Honey provides live bees, supplies, and gear to beekeepers nationwide and evangelizes the founder's beekeeping journey and lessons learned through beginner and intermediate beekeeping coursework.
Researched the company and determined a brand personality, logo, supporting design elements, and a custom bee nuc
Considered the needs and functions of the company in order to design a responsive home page that would put first things first and present the new brand effectively for Mountain Sweet Honey
Mountain Sweet Honey needed a brand and website reset in order to grow the business and effectively serve customers nationally.
The goal of this project was to design and implement a holistic brand personality that would communicate the existing company roots to customers in a way this small company could manage in-house.
The founder and owner of Mountain Sweet Honey Company began beekeeping as a hobby with only four hives. Soon the demand for local honey led him to grow his operation to 100 hives. The next challenge was to meet the demand for bees and beekeeping supplies. Today, Mountain Sweet Honey Company ships bees and beekeeping supplies nationwide. They are devoted to informing and resourcing beekeepers as well as providing excellent customer service.
Once I had a grasp on the existing personality of this small company, it was time to define the overall brand direction. Three key tone words guided the rest of this branding project.
Mountain Sweet Honey is a locally owned business through and through. With in-person beekeeping courses and connections within the Georgia beekeeping community, the hometown feel of this company is at the forefront of their mission and personality.
When a company is owned by its founder, there's a refreshing amount of authenticity that flows through business operations. Everything at Mountain Sweet Honey is done intentionally to contribute to the company's original vision of community education.
Beekeeping is about cultivating the goodness of nature, so Mountain Sweet Honey's personality is rooted in a deep appreciation for nature. Further, this small community runs on organic relationships from beekeeping events to personable customer service.
The existing personality of Mountain Sweet Honey deserved to be brought to life through a holistic approach to their brand design. To accomplish this, I kept the brand tone words in mind in the design of the new logo, style guide, bee nuc, and responsive website.
The logo concept combines a bee figure and the silhouette of a mountain in order to represent the name and purpose of the company as well as its geographic roots. Naturally textured line work follows the key tone words to communicate the band personality by just the mark.
Simplicity was key for this company's brand guidelines to ensure their employees could use it to their full potential. This three-page guide focuses on the founder's story and easy graphic, typography, and photography styles.
Mountain Sweet Honey ships their bees nationwide in "bee nucs" (short for nucleus). These boxes were prime real estate for applying the new brand communications. A guide to a successful nuc-to-hive transition on the lid of each Mountain Sweet Honey Company bee nuc educates first-time beekeepers and re-emphasizes the company's heart for "newbees."
This responsive design considers the various users of the Mountain Sweet homepage including first-time beekeepers, loyal customers, and simply interested parties. An emphasis on all three e-commerce offerings (bees, gear, and accessories) will support business growth.
There were two key takeaways from this project: brand development is made easier with an ethnographic approach to discovery, and I love taking a design vision from start to finish. It was easy to take insights from the existing Mountain Sweet Honey site when I took time to read between the lines and ask questions like, "why did they put this information here?" and "why is this important to them?" When I worked on this project I did not know about ethnographic research methods, but I know now that those practices made the design direction clear as day. Devoting myself to understanding the roots of this company and applying my findings to a variety of mediums was fulfilling, especially knowing the impact it can have on small business owners to see their vision come to life on paper (and screen).
This is a student design project.