Responses by Little & Company and King Arthur Baking Company
Background: The purpose of the project was to better reflect what King Arthur Baking Company really is: a company of bakers who believe in the power of baking! Since its start in 1790, King Arthur has evolved from America’s first flour company to the leading baking resource, providing bakers with hundreds of ingredients, baking mixes and tools, and a strong library of free recipes and resources. The brand is beloved by its loyal following, but there are still many who are unfamiliar with the brand. This new positioning as a baking company will enable King Arthur to continue to grow and welcome all bakers, from life-long bakers to beginners.
Reasoning: We set out to design a logo that’s equal parts premium, authentic and joyful to reflect the essence of the brand and strengthen the emotional connection bakers have with King Arthur. In the wheat crown, we found a symbol that could convey the brand’s heritage, signal its quality and pay reverence to the agriculture that makes it all possible. Best of all, it allows anyone who uses King Arthur products to see themselves as royalty.
Challenges: Anytime you set out to change something that is so beloved and has so much history, there’s a lot of pressure to get it right. We were feeling the weight of expectations from millions of loyal users who would sooner not bake than bake with anything but King Arthur. We had to figure out how to change something enough so that new customers will notice it, but not feel so removed from history that the most loyal stakeholders feel abandoned.
Favorite details: The collaboration between the Little team and the team from King Arthur. We treat branding as an iterative process where everyone is at the table, and that requires a lot of honesty. The process always felt like a true back-and-forth, with a lot of listening on both sides, and some hard decision-making happening at every step.
Visual influences: As with any company this old—or stories as old as King Arthur—there was a great wealth of imagery and historic precedent to pay attention to, like historical drawings, ornate typefaces and factory signs. Regardless of whether they found a home in the final solution, they fueled inspiration and countless versions along the way.
Specific demands: As mentioned earlier, we treat these projects as iterative, which means the first time our clients from King Arthur came to Minneapolis, we were presenting roughly 40-60 conceptual directions. Everything from simple refinements of the knight to entirely new monograms and shields. That’s the day when hard conversations were had, and 95 percent of ideas ended up on the floor. But that’s also the day the King Arthur team decided that if they were changing the logo after all this time, it needed to stand for more. And that made everything easier, because it was out in the open and we knew we could all go forward with the same vision in mind.