I always enjoy doing design work for groups that help make a difference in the community. That is why I was excited to be asked to design the look for the 2009 Grape & Grain event, an annual fund-raiser for the Spokane Advertising Federation. Here is a brief description of the event and how it benefits the Spokane community:
Grape & Grain is Spokane’s premier wine and beer event featuring some of the northwest’s finest wineries and breweries. The tasting and auction is one of AAF Spokane’s major fundraising events. AAF Spokane is a non-profit organization, dating back to 1901, that in addition to hosting luncheons with nationally known experts in the advertising industry, it also provides scholarship and internship opportunities to area college students.
Being a recipient of two scholarships given out by the Spokane Advertising Federation I was happy to help out with branding the Grape & Grain event for 2009. After discussing the event with the Spokane Ad Fed I found out I was free to brand the event in any way I saw fit. I began by making a list of everything that the event had to offer. The list included:
- Sampling Foods
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
- Supporting Students
- Bidding on Items
As I continued to create my list I noticed that it grew AND grew AND grew and that’s when I decided to focus my design on the ampersand. The ampersand could be pulled from the event’s name (Grape & Grain) and be used as a single element that linked all of the event’s attributes together.
Grape & Grain Initial Logo Sketches
Because I wanted to focus on using the ampersand to tie the event together I started incorporating the physical shapes of a “grape” and a stalk of “grain” into the ampersand. I looked at dozens of ampersands from various fonts but wasn’t satisfied with any of them.
I decided my best option was to create my own ampersand that would perfectly showcase the grape and grain forms. I used the ampersand’s counter form to make the shape of a grape. I then created the stalk of grain as an offshoot of the ampersands stroke.
Initial Design In Black and White
Next I began looking at color options. I knew everything would be printed in full color so I wouldn’t be limited to the number of colors I could use. In order to make sure the grape was easily recognizable I chose a deep red color to represent “red wine” in the grape’s counter form.
The more I thought about the relationship of the grape and grain, the more I realized both depended on sunlight to thrive. I decided to round out the color palette with a tan to represent the grain and an orange to represent the sun.
Final Color Palette
Finally, I used a clean san-serif font for the title of the event below the ampersand logo. I chose to use white on the wordmark and picked up the white on the grain and in the reflection of the grape. I initially used the tan color on the grain but decided it complicated the logo with an unnecessary fourth color, especially since I felt the grain could be recognized with or without the tan color.
In order to pick up the tan color representing the grain I used it on all the collateral pieces. I also used the tan bars to list the words representing the event, all of which were separated by the ampersand created for the logo.
The Final Design
The final design effectively condensed the Grape & Grain event into a single logo. Although it was only used for 2009 I was extremely pleased with the completed look of both the logo and the collateral pieces advertising the event.