A few months ago, a student from FIT interviewed me and asked if there was a project that changed me as a designer. I thought back to my advertising days when I was asked to create a logo for Home Farming—an initiative sponsored by Triscuit that encouraged people to plant their own food. At the time, I did a lot of work for pitches and presentations, but very little actually got produced. So I had no idea that a few logo concepts would turn into a large scale branding project that I could feel proud of.
As a lover of healthy food, I sincerely felt connected to the goal of the campaign (not so for past efforts promoting watery beer, harsh chemical household products, overactive bladder medication, etc.). My enthusiasm showed in the work I created: a funky type system, quirky illustrations and a fresh, fun and inviting brand vibe. The Home Farming campaign continued for two years, so I got a chance to refine and improve the design over time.
For me, the real value in the project was realizing how great it is to work on things that I genuinely love. It’s then that the right amount of my personality emerges and melds with true passion and commitment. And people noticed the winning combination. Once I had a strong project in my book that showed off what I could do, it led to other, better projects that revolved around similar themes of good food. Looking back, I think Home Farming was the gateway to branding assignments for Snap Kitchen, Sweet, Savory Wellness and more.
I’m not saying that I only want to work on things that I feel personally connected to, or that my personality needs to show in every project. I’ll always enjoy the intellectual challenge of working on stuff that’s outside of my interest sphere, or that pushes me to work in styles that I’m not naturally drawn to. But it’s a treat when I get a new project brief and get to say: good food? Better nutrition? Yes and yes! Local and artisanal? Even better! Passion always shows in the finished work, and good work for good brands leads to more and tastier projects.