We are thrilled to officially announce our new Local Roots NYC logo and rebrand! Elsa Chiao, Local Roots member, designed it for us. We interviewed her about her design process and her experience as a member.
What do you do for work?
I am an in-house art director at a startup.
What do you do in your free time?
I like walking around town, taking photos, and skateboarding when I have some free time.
Why did you feel drawn to this rebranding project?
I always wanted to work for a local business and on something that's very community-oriented. There are so many opportunities to create interesting visuals with Local Roots.
What was your inspiration for the rebrand and new logo and what do you hope the new logo communicates to people? Can you describe your design process?
I was inspired union marks and logos from the 1950s and 1960s. It felt fitting to have a logo that serves as a symbol for a very local business / community. I wanted it to be as straight-forward as possible. The sprout in the logo represents produce and also the growth of this community. Also, I really wanted to highlight the very DIY nature of Local Roots by making designs that are easily reproduced and even stamped.
Some of our brand colors are blueberry and young rhubarb. Can you talk about the process of finding our new brand colors and the concept behind having seasonal greens?
Looking through a sea of green logos for markets and farms, I felt that a brand color that was different could really help Local Roots stand out. Beyond the green and organic aspects, Local Roots also provides the ingredients and tips for home cooks—it is a service as well. There were a few iterations on the color palette before deciding on the Blueberry and Young Rhubarb. Because the seasonality of the produce is something that is core to Local Roots' offering, the secondary color palette also includes a range of greens to reflect the changing seasons.
You’re now a Local Roots member and receive a few different shares, so you’ve been able to try a variety of our products. Which have been your absolute favorites? Is there a share that you’re interested in?
I really enjoyed learning about all the root vegetables in the winter season! I had never had black radish before and was so delighted by the flavor when I prepared it. I think that I would be interested in trying the cheese and fermentation shares to learn about the various ways I could incorporate fermented ingredients into my cooking.
When you’re busy and need to make a quick meal, what is your go-to dish with your Local Roots produce?
Since I've been getting the root vegetables with the winter shares, my go-to has been the Japanese curry with potatoes, carrots, and sometimes sweet potatoes. When I get the fish share I also try to incorporate that into the curry.
Do you have time-saving cooking tips or kitchen storage tips to share with fellow New Yorkers with busy lives and a small kitchen?
I think roasting at least 50% of the veggies in one batch on the same day I get the share is important for me. That way I save some time in meal preparation, but still have some produce left to try out the veggies individually for different meals.
You followed a set of Local Roots values for the new branding. Can you list them and tell us which values resonate the most with you as a member? How have you seen those values play out in LR?
I really like the community aspect of Local Roots. When I pick up my shares, I always keeps my ears open to hearing cooking tips from people at the market. I also love the mindfulness in not using unnecessary packaging—I remind myself to bring reusable bags when picking up my share, and now that also applies to when I shop elsewhere.
How can good branding help a company show it’s values? Have you worked with many social-impact businesses to use branding as a way to show their values?
Branding is the most succinct and visual way to describe a brand and its values. Without spelling out everything, the brand identity can give you a sense of the brand's "personality". I haven't worked with many social-impact businesses, but I really look forward to getting to know more and being more involved in projects for local communities.
I know you love art and architecture. Who is your favorite artist/architect has been an inspiration to your work?
I love the idea behind the historical Modernist movement from the first half of the 20th century—the idea that design and good taste are not exclusive to a certain social class. The movement was really about democratizing design and raising living standards for people across all income levels through design. That is something I am really inspired by. Recently, I took a trip to Holland and learned about a couple of architects that started the Dutch version of the Modernist movement. It was super interesting to see the actual buildings and learn about them in a historical context.
What was the problem you faced before you joined Local Roots?
I think the challenge was that I was limited in the choice of produce when I would go shopping. It seemed daunting to try new ingredients.
How did Local Roots solve that problem?
By committing to picking up the shares every week, I had the opportunity to learn about vegetables I never cooked with or even knew. It's been fun!
How has Local Roots benefited your life?
I am much more adventurous with ingredients now and have learned so many new recipes!
Our New Brand Colors