Homestyle

HOMESTYLE is a rebranding project for the Pearl Milling Company after their transition from the now infamous Aunt Jemima brand of breakfast products

Rebranding An Icon

Aunt Jemima products have adorned the shelves of households across the U.S. for over 130 years. During that time the racial stereotype of the “mammy” character, a southern black nanny to white children in a white household, has finally reached its retirement as recognized by parent company Quaker Oats in an effort to promote racial equality.

Though Aunt Jemima was fictionalized, she represented all of the features of the “mammy” caricature as an overweight, dark-skinned woman and was based on the real, Nancy Green. According to CNN, “The brand’s origin and logo is based off the song “Old Aunt Jemima” from a minstrel show performer and reportedly sung by slaves.” – (Valinsky, 2020, CNN Business).

Existing Branding

Overview

Our group initially touched on replicating the premise of the motherly figure that Aunt Jemima represented. However, we quickly realized any use of another character can be perceived as a replacement for Aunt Jemima and disrespectful to her memory as many do not know she was an actual person.

Therefore, we are choosing to develop a new logomark based on the name of Pearl Milling Company. It does not have a strong presence or recognizable identity as a mark. Therefore, we are focusing on a mark that will target the younger audience who pushed the company to recognize the need for change

Mission

Trying to create a dependable brand to accurately represent the quality products produced. The old brand (Aunt Jemima) refers back to racist ideas which were away from the morals that should be represented in a company.

Vision

We initially touched upon replicating the premise of the
motherly figure that Aunt Jemima represented. However, it was quickly realized any use of another character can be perceived as a replacement for Aunt Jemima and disrespectful to her memory as she is an actual person. Knowing this, it was then decided the best way to represent the product would be to scrap the new name in general. It was too long and too difficult to remember. The look of their updated brand is still on par with the old branding which is a good identifier to loyal customers who already know the product. Creating something more easily memorable would enforce better clientele as well as word of mouth.

We decided to keep the existing colors along with making our own brand name into a similar font style. Choosing the name Homestyle refers back to a lot of the feelings consumers would get out of using this product as well as what Aunt Jemima was supposed to represent. Many can connect it to the feeling of family or togetherness.

The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is currently represented with a circular logo of what seems to be a resounding sound wave accompanied by the name in partially tracked type then bolded larger pt. font size.

Logo Social Media AD

Working from reference provides a strong platform to build upon. Although, I believe as a designer we sometimes need to strip away the safety of a balanced experience in order to provoke the truest emotions and convey purer messages.

In my process I embark on a journey of discovering what the piece wants to become, and how I want to communicate that identity with the tools afforded to me. In the process of creating DARA, I sketched around the form of the model and captured an exact likeness. Then I worked to pull away elements that hindered the experience, while elevating some that would aid in provoking the desired emotions.

Below you will see the development period, and follow visually with me as I made decisions to remove and alter the piece.

Magazine AD (by Gina Giordano)

A massive storm, with a death toll higher than that of Katrina, hit Puerto Rico in September 2018. This force of nature was hurricane Maria, and it killed over 3,000 United States citizens. However, rather than headlines describing us as a people in need, I only saw phrases like “foreigners”, “immigrants”, and “freeloaders” to name a few.

People here in the states did not realize we as Puerto Ricans, like them, were in fact United States citizens. This massive ignorance was further empowered by the many tweets and discussions by Donald Trump, who disrespectfully stated

“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth.”

I was distraught as a Puerto Rican. I was infuriated as a Latino. I was driven as a graphic designer. This harrowing series of events led to my creation of Vené, an online store dedicated to the representation and education of Latin culture, beginning with Puerto Rican culture.

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