our love of design runs the whole gamut. we are printers, obviously but when someone comes to us with the idea of starting from scratch - and i mean from scratch, i feel thats when we crack our knuckles and try to see exactly what we can make happen.
Jessica Walliser emailed us toward the end of last year with a request...she is a Pittsburgh-based freelance writer with a focus on food, farming, and gardening. she works for a bunch of different regional and national publications and websites, including SavvyGardening.com, HobbyFarms.com, and magazines like Fine Gardening and Rodale's Organic Life. part of her job is to travel around the country and give talks about organic farming and gardening at botanical gardens, master gardener conferences, and other events.
wait - hold on - HEY JESSICA...can you jump in here and help me describe why you reached out to us:
"Sure, during my travels over the past few years, I've noticed that there's an increasing amount of interest in gardening among young people. There's a new generation of gardeners interested in learning about how growing their own organic food can be part of a healthier, more eco-conscious lifestyle, and as a horticulturist, that's incredibly exciting for me to see.
Gardening apparel, however, hasn't changed much over the years, and it certainly wasn't reflecting this shift toward a fresh, new audience of gardeners. My husband and I decided to start Ironweed Apparel with the aim of bringing a modern feel of hand-printed gardening shirts to this new generation of gardeners. We wanted our shirts to convey a more urban vibe than most existing graphic gardening tees, and we wanted to give these gardeners a way to share their passion for gardening through our non-traditional designs.
We came to Commonwealth Press because we love your brand and were already familiar with the quality of your work, having personally owned several of your shirts. We felt CWP would be the ideal partner to help us create the right branding message and designs for our new company, and after our initial meeting with Dan and Amanda to discuss logo development and initial design concepts, we knew it would be a good fit. Since then, CWP has been more than willing to answer our many business development questions, take our designs from concept through creation, and fulfill our printing orders in a timely and friendly manner.
Our goal for Ironweed Apparel over the coming months is to continue to build a brand that's focused on redefining garden apparel for a new generation of gardeners."
jessica wanted something that would appeal to the new breed of urban hands - the ones that live in and around the city but still have a few chickens, dirt under their nails, a real feel for what they are touching, eating, and how they are living.
we wanted to make a logo that looked like it was cut from an old piece of barnwood - something that had some texture - more than a font - more than an icon. we took a few stabs at it and the further we went - the more i couldnt get get the work of local artist Kim Fox out of my head. this is her turf. she was the first person i met that was living in the city and had bees and chickens and a garden and a constant flow of hand touched / highly textured artwork.
i approached kim and within a day i got a photo of a hand cut drawing - block printed on an off white sheet. The final logo Ironweed went with isnt far from this initial take.
we had a starting point and from there we wanted to approach the way the garment would be worn, how it felt, how it looked. we wanted it to look like that old shirt you wear because you love it so much. we went with a tri-blend for that soft drape fit.
then we moved into building out the textures and icons that would be peripheral to the brand.
those garments were printed and delivered just in time for Jessica to take to her first trade show...and they sold, and sold fast. when she got back we were already moving on a few other design concepts that she had been tossing at us from the road.
a few of these we went directly back to kim - a few we tackled here in house. Our overall goal was to help Jessica add a new revenue stream to something she has already been doing for years. A way for her to connect with her audience and let them take a little piece of her with them. something visual, something tangible, something modern, comfy, and cool.
based on sales, id say its working and we are all looking forward to seeing in what ways we can help her make it grow.