Food has a massive carbon footprint.
More specifically, many studies suggest that agriculture makes up nearly 25% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s a ton!
Luckily, there are folks out there that want to do something about it. We were approached by our client to help build the brand for a new food company with a grand vision.
Their goal is to build a sustainable carbon neutral food ecosystem. They believe carbon neutral food can radically disrupt agriculture as the next global food revolution. And due to the impact of livestock agriculture, they wanted to start with the humble (but ubiquitous) glass of milk.
Say Hello to Neutral.
Neutral is a brand with a big, inspiring story to tell, so we wanted to place simplicity, friendliness and transparency at the heart of the design, starting with the typography. We opted to use a single type family—Moderat—throughout, to bring modernity and nuance to the brand without sacrificing utility and clarity.
Setting the logotype in full lower-case gives a feeling of humanism and approachability. We customized details of the letterforms to optimize flow and balance between linear and circular geometry.
Our inspiration for the logo came from their central brand goal of reducing their own carbon footprint to 0%. We took the percentage sign and turned it to form an N, creating a mark that is both a mnemonic for the brand as well as a reminder of their goal.
We knew from the outset that we needed a compelling color story to convey the purpose of the brand and help it stand out of the wall of white in the dairy aisle.
Through studying temperature maps, we honed in on an inviting yellow for the main brand color. We felt the allusion to temperate sunny weather was optimistic, while still having color density to maintain legibility for bold, white typography on the package.
We balanced the yellow with a deep, dusty blue for contrast, and built out a suite of unique colors to identify each variety while staying true to the established color categories that exist for dairy.
We also developed an illustration style to add an organic softness to the brand. Our goal was to guide consumers through each panel of the carton, telling the brand story, teaching about carbon emissions, and sharing about Neutral's approach to offset their own footprint through strategic partnerships.
The brand elements coalesce on the carton packaging. In keeping with our goal of transparency, we highlighted the exact carbon cost—and offset value—of each carton of milk, and placed this information prominently on the front of each box.
Given the ubiquitous nature of dairy in the average American diet, it's unlikely to get people to stop consuming dairy entirely, but with the advent of Neutral, we can at least make a smaller impact on our environment while still enjoying foods that we love.
That's good news for us all.