Responses by One Design Company
Background: In early 2020, the Chicago-based vertical farming startup Backyard Fresh Farms came to One Design to carve out a more ownable, competitive space in the consumer packaged goods industry for its category-changing offering. One new name, positioning strategy, messaging plan, identity program, and packaging system later, the brand re-emerged as Wilder Fields, a technology-enabled food company that produces extraordinarily flavorful, fresh, safe and sustainably grown greens for local communities.
Reasoning: We set out to reframe greens in the minds of consumers as an exciting luxury, not a tired grocery-cart staple. Drawing on Mother Nature herself; our client’s sustainable growing methods; and its passion to bring new flavors of greens to market, the name Wilder Fields conveys a freshness and a liveliness that says: We’re as nature intended, but better.
To be the confident yet celebratory presence on the shelves, we put the name and flourishing wordmark—set in Voyage, modified with custom ligatures—at center stage. An accompanying set of pin points and lines derived from the wordmark alongside a geometric sans-serif represent the technological expertise underpinning Wilder Fields’ methods. A refined color palette full of rich, natural hues and a photographic direction that celebrates the inherent beauty of greens reflect the essence of the new Wilder Fields brand.
Challenges: We started this partnership in February 2020 and a month later, our entire studio went fully remote due to COVID-19. As we built Wilder Fields, we were learning how to collaborate exclusively online and teaching our clients how to do the same. From how we brainstormed names internally to how we presented and facilitated interactive activities with clients, we re-engineered much of how we work on the fly.
Favorite details: We were particularly pleased with creating something beautiful and functional. The design system’s structure and hierarchy conveyed what shoppers value in both grocery stores and online ordering services. And that pop of persimmon color draws attention exactly where we want it to go. We’re also thrilled with the name Wilder Fields—it conveys warmth, passion and pioneering ambition. But we’re most proud of how differentiated Wilder Fields is in this space. This brand is the living embodiment of the exciting new future of food, and the endless good that sustainably grown greens can have on individuals, communities and the world.
Time constraints: There were many assumptions we wanted to validate, which meant more research than we were able to accomplish in our two-week sprint. This encouraged us to maximize the research activities we did conduct, and to divide and conquer so we could squeeze in more interviews. We even used our regular grocery trips to survey competitive labels and product placement on shelves.
Anything new: We learned a lot about remote collaboration. We’ve become big fans of Miro for client activities; we learned to break up full-day workshops to avoid Zoom fatigue; and we’re using Figma and Slack in more robust ways. Our team found the deep dive into vertical and other non-traditional farming methods to be personally fascinating and impactful. But best of all, we tried new greens at the farm. Red vein sorrel, wild baby arugula, wasabi greens and kale leaves as big as your face. It was a pleasure to design a brand for food that’s so remarkably fresh and flavorful.