Responses by Hannah Robinson DeMoss, design director, Kathryn Wong Hoffman, content strategist, Anna Mumford, project manager and Irene Kim Shepherd, brand strategist, Chen Design Associates
Background: Cauldron Ice Cream’s “puffle” cones and beautiful frozen concoctions have gone viral on the internet multiple times. With bustling lines, a growing fanbase, and over ten franchises opening in five years, the founders of Cauldron realized that their branding needed a redesign from identity to packaging to environment. Focusing on trendsetters, online influencers, college students, parents and families—Chen Design Associates (CDA) stepped into the customers’ shoes to reimagine and improve the brand experience “in real life” so that every moment would be memorable, providing a standout customer experience that draws new fans and engenders loyalty.
Reasoning: CDA’s design is grounded in a thoughtful brand strategy to set Cauldron apart from a crowded marketplace of tasty desserts. People love ice cream, but what they love more is the feeling behind sharing ice cream with their favorite people. That intangible magic is what we sought to make tangible in our brand positioning and foundations. Our solution builds an identity system on Cauldron’s brand pillars of connection, satisfaction and wonder. We explored how a balanced interplay between playful and refined could come to life. A neutral palette with pops of color, timeless iconography and clean typography—with a nod to the “cauldron” where ice cream is freshly made—all came together to rebuild Cauldron’s image.
Challenges: Considering that Cauldron Ice Cream is a growing franchise, we worked to create an economically reproducible system that independent owners could roll out themselves.
Favorite details: Without using words, we expressed the Cauldron Ice Cream’s story through a compelling and contemporary visual pattern. We applied it in the store environment, and in print and digitally. We also created a new tagline, “Taste What Happens,” to spark excitement, alluding to all the possibilities the experience that Cauldron Ice Cream offers its customers.
Visual influences: We were influenced by the made-to-order process Cauldron Ice Cream uses to make its ice cream and its Instagrammable products: the rose petal-shaped scoops, “puffle” cones, waffle cones, the nitrogen process and the cauldron bowl. All of these became part of the overall story pattern and gave a sense of connection, satisfaction and wonder.
Anything new: Every client is different and we grew in our understanding of Cauldron’s process and how best to empower the team to execute the design. Also, tasting the product in every flavor was a very important part of the creative process.