Long before ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ became trendy, the Pennsylvania Dutch of Berks County embodied farm to table. Local butchers were a vital part of that way of life and were always considered trusted neighbors. Their shops offered a sense of community where customers felt welcome and they came to appreciate the skill and expertise of true craftsmen.
I was asked to work on every aspect of the Dundore & Heister brand so it would pay tribute to the legacy of nose-to-tail thrift and honor the timeless tradition of connecting proud and hard-working farmers to their communities without pretense. The brand needed to stand in contrast to today’s sterile and faceless supermarket experience, connect with the legacy of Berk’s County, and portray that the brand would offer local, pasture-raised and organic meats in a unique, wholesome, and inviting environment reminiscent of a bygone era. I created everything from the brand strategy to all elements of the brand and every touchpoint for their multiple stores.
Key learnings from this project
Great design and branding generate results for companies of all sizes
I treated Dundore the same way I would any major brand from the brand strategy through to the design of every element and touchpoint. The results showed the size of your brand does not equal the impact of the design work.
Connecting to local communities creates a powerful brand
Connecting the brand with the Pennsylvania Dutch community and their heritage created a unique brand positioning, visual language, and value proposition unlike anything else in the market.
Designing modern heritage
The logo’s typography needed to reference the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions of Berks County without looking like the touristy caricatures that fill that area. The logo was created using four different Old English, Germanic, and Blackletter typefaces which were then redrawn to create a unified look.
Modernizing PA Dutch Hex Signs
Hex symbols are an icon part of Pennsylvania Dutch traditions and we wanted to find a way to work them into the brand’s visual language. We have studied books, and photography and scouted Berks County to figure out how to honor hex signs while finding ways to reinvent them for a modern brand. Some of the themes we have been working with are symmetry (most hex signs are 5 or 6 points) and mirrored images (represented strength and courage). Dundore and Heister Hex symbols are created by choosing one of four different background shapes and combining them with a large set of design elements so the symbols can represent the brand, proteins, events, or themes. The results are unique symbols that are a modern interpretation of the traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Hex symbol.
Eat like you live here
We wanted to create a mantra that would crystalize the mission of Dundore and Heister. This statement is used to as a foundation for the entire brand and is a sign that is displayed at the entrance of all their retail locations.
Dundore and Heister is a sustainable whole animal butcher shop founded in the Pennsylvania Dutch traditions of community, craftsmanship and a legacy of thrift. We share our knowledge, practice our art and reuniting our customers with our unique and thriving local food system. We empower our customers to make their meals more meaningful and help them see the impact of their buying decisions in a larger context.
Designed every customer touchpoint
I have designed every brand touchpoint for the brand from all aspects of the in-store experience, consumer materials, integrated marketing, social media strategy, website, and more. I create all of these from the core brand positioning I created and the brand visual language that brings modern heritage to the Pennsylvania Dutch design aesthetic.
A new look at butchering
Nothing brings a food brand to life like photography and it was especially important with Dundore where we wanted to romanticized the meat and use items from Berks County to give it a sense of place. We then layered in a natural color palette to create a visual reinforcement of the natural philosophy of the brand. The resulting photography created something that stood out in the market and showed the quality of the product without having to say a word.
Premium meat needs premium packaging
Another way I wanted to make the brand stand out was by designing the packaging for the meats and dry goods. Creating custom packaging for all products was the first step in setting the brand apart in the local market. This packaging was designed to use traditional Pennsylvania Dutch colors that subliminally spoke to the heritage aspect of the brand but also created a strong shelf presence. The packaging also used the brand’s visual vocabulary like the re-invented hex signs as a pattern to create unique butcher paper and more to give even the process of buying raw meat a high touch feel.
We wanted to create a hierarchy in the packaging in the store to help reinforce the price point and work that goes into creating dry-aged meat. The standard packaging used brown kraft butcher paper that is printed with the hex symbol that has been created for each store location. The paper is then closed with a simple red logo sticker.
Premium packaging was created to reinforce the price point and work that goes into creating dry-aged meats so that when customers buy this meat it feels more premium and other customers are aware that their purchase is special. The premium feel was created by using black kraft butcher paper printed with silver ink and sealed with a silver foil sticker.
Exterior signage and retail design
I was asked to design all exterior signage for the store which consisted of a primary illuminated round sign, a large wall mural, gold leaf retail window signage, and a free-standing ‘Open’ sign. All the signage was designed to work as a system that would be effective at different viewing distances. The large round illuminated sign and large wall mural was designed for the high volume of fast-moving traffic that drives past the front of the store. The large round sign was illuminated so it is highly visible at night when there is no street lighting near the store it has a strong visual impact. The store windows which have branding and messaging in gold leaf were designed for slower moving traffic during rush hour, the foot traffic that passes the store on the way to other business and Dundore and Heister customers as they want into the store.
I designed a responsive website for Dundore and Heister and detailed the brand’s background, their approach to meat, their products, and all locations.
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