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  • Writer's pictureBridget Hassall

The Bear Kitchen branding

Updated: Nov 19, 2019

Eat with Impact. The Bear Kitchen began as a London based restaurant but has evolved into a corporate catering business on a mission to change to the way we eat... With this new evolution, came the need for a more polished brand. I was delighted to be asked to create this by the visionary and company co-founder Jens Hannibal.

Sharing a meal is one of the most powerful occasions for positive transformation. We're on a mission to bring your team together around the pleasure of the good meal: to engage, to bond, to increase well-being and most of all, JOY. 

The brief was actually quite complex in that the client wanted to weave in some powerful messages but in a clean, Scandinavian style. Some key aspects included: a mentor, a leader, a vessel, a symbol, storytelling, fairytale, guidance, deep human connection, tree of life, journey, history, present, future, recognisable but instills curiosity.

Moodboard for creative route

The route chosen was a striking symbol that embodies earth and nature and invites you on a journey. The negative space forms our leader, the bear; we look up at her, she is enlightening but invisible. She looks over her shoulder at an abundant world. There is a globe with many members, coming together to form something beautiful and bigger than her. There is also a plate of fresh food.

The colour palette is gentle and earthy and derived from the she-bear, the tree of life and the plant based food that features heavily in the ethos behind this brand.

Supporting graphics include the same textural green that is present in the main logo. This gives a subtly aged feel, it's not new and sparkly, it's an ancient tale we're trying to tell.

This was undoubtedly the right route for this brand. However, I can't talk about this branding without wanting to share one of the other concepts which had some legs but the client felt was a little too abstract. The client loved the thinking behind this concept and it certainly answered the brief, so while it wasn't the chosen one, it still deserves its 15 minutes!

Ursa Major is a constellation in the northern sky, whose associated mythology likely dates back into prehistory. Its Latin name means “greater she-bear”. In European star charts, the constellation was visualized with the 'square' of the Big Dipper forming the bear's body and the chain of stars forming the Dipper's "handle" as a long tail. However, bears do not have long tails, and Jewish astronomers considered Alioth, Mizar, and Alkaid instead to be three cubs following their mother, while the Native Americans saw them as three hunters. As many of its common names allude, its shape is said to resemble a ladle, an agricultural plough, wagon, a saucepan. All vessels that contain and bring food to the people. A symbol to guide people north. Leadership. Guidance. Forward motion.

My branding packages always include a minimum of 3 routes. I put so much thought, time and heart into each of these, and I often wonder if the business model makes sense - knowing all the while that 2 out of three of these things simply will not see the light of day. There is quite a move towards single option presentations in the design world, in that the designer will funnel all their time and skills into a route that they know is the correct solution to the brief. I'm not sure how many clients would feel comfortable with this, but it might be the way things are moving. It would mean putting a lot of trust into your design person.

And on that note, if you don't have a design person, then let it be me!

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