Client

Maine Department of Agriculture,
Conservation and Forestry

Project

Real Maine Brand Refresh

Client

Maine Department of Agriculture,
Conservation and Forestry

Project

Real Maine Brand Refresh

Background

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is the state’s lead agency dealing with all aspects of the food system, from the field to the table. The Department maintains a mission of fostering opportunities for the agricultural community and of supporting stewardship of Maine’s natural resources, as well as promoting Maine’s products nationwide.

“Real Maine” (formerly “Get real, Get Maine!”) is one of the departments many programs that focus on business development and market promotion for Maine’s farmers and producers. After more than 10 years of progress, it was time to refresh the branding.

Audience

Maine farmers and food producers

Maine residents and visitors

Retailers that purchase agricultural products and food products wholesale

Consumers nationwide and globally

State, federal and local government officials

Services Provided

Logo design
Logo design
Identity development
Key Messaging
Key Messaging
Brand Voice Discovery Icon
Brand Voice Discovery

Challenge

OHS was approached to revitalize and modernize the brand in a way that would create excitement about Maine agricultural products, drive sales and promote the department’s development programs to Maine farmers and producers.

The brand refresh had three primary goals:

  • Create excitement about Maine agricultural products to increase profits and sustainability of Maine farms
  • Increase awareness and demand for Maine farm products
  • Promote the purchase of locally grown food and farm products to benefit consumers, producers, and Maine’s economy

Approach

Working along-side our PR partner, Marshall Communications, we were provided with a comprehensive background—backed by research—which included a brand manifesto, focus group results and anecdotes, analysis of other state’s agricultural programs, and avatars and personas for the various audience types.

Out of this research came one core theme: Connect people to Maine agriculture by making Maine farmers and food producers the focal point of the Maine agriculture story. Their values and commitment to excellence are inspiring, and their stories are what will bring the brand to life to personalize and differentiate Maine agriculture.

 

Methodology

Armed with our research and our core theme, we began as we do with all branding projects, by developing mood boards to explore logo options, colors, fonts, brand imagery, iconography, and other graphic devices. We provided three visual directions that dialed up or down various other messages that came out of the manifesto—all focusing on the farmers and producers.

Approved Logo + Moodboard

From the three directions presented, the client chose a design that was bold yet flexible.

Inspired by a passport stamp, the logo acts as a visual metaphor for how REAL MAINE, the tweaked brand name, allows people to explore, experience, discover and connect through a range of agricultural products and experiences. It’s versatile enough to be used on everything from products at an in-state farm stand to a bag of Maine potatoes sold at a grocery store in California.

For applications where there is an opportunity to communicate more of a story, we’re adapting the logo to be the centerpiece of the statement. We integrate the program name directly into the messaging to communicate the core values of Maine producers and the benefits of their products. The system is extremely flexible so each touchpoint can focus on its own priority, whether it be a story about a farmer, a product, an event, or Maine agriculture in general.

  • CORE THEMES

    Authentic

    Proud

    Straight-forward

    Hardworking

    Inspiring

    Official

  • KEY ELEMENTS

    Authentic photography

    Solid use of color

    Flexible logo system

Brand Collateral

To support the launch we designed a variety of collateral pieces to display the impact and flexibility of the brand, from advertisements to social media to label stickers to merchandise.

A sampling of ads that focus on farmers and producers

A sampling of ads that focus on products, events, or values

Merchandise that generates awareness and excitement for the brand

Logo stickers for producers to include on their products

Social media post supporting strawberry season

Social media post supporting farmers’ markets

Comprehensive style guidelines were developed to provide a visual roadmap for anyone working on the brand

Response

“Working with Owl’s Head Solutions for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Division of Agricultural Resource Development’s brand refresh has been a rewarding experience. They were able to take the strategic plan we developed and build a compelling and thoughtful visual component that can be delivered in a variety of ways to the client’s target audiences. Their responsiveness, attention to detail and ability to listen to the client’s needs has resulted in a campaign we can all be proud of.”

– Charlene Williams, President, Marshall Communications