Placing the crown back on the roast dinner for vegans everywhere
Cherub Foods, previously named VBE Foods, is an unassuming – yet revolutionary – business that creates and delivers 100% plant-based foods to vegans all over the UK.
With lofty goals to challenge the market leaders with their beloved vegan Yorkshire puddings, and a growing selection of vegan products, it was clear they needed a new identity to establish themselves as frontrunners in the plant-based industry.
Reinvigorating their brand while staying true to their purpose-driven values, we designed a new brand identity and visual language that translated across multiple applications. Including packaging that would stand out on store shelves and a new website with its own recognisable style, also integrating the ability for business-driving ecommerce.
Better for the planet, better for happy, healthy living, and definitely better for modern consumers.
A recipe for positive change
With any successful recipe, you need good ingredients, and we knew from the start that we were working from a strong foundation. Cherub knew their product and where they wanted to be as a brand.
So, through our brand strategy workshop we helped extract these ingredients to understand the full story behind Cherub Foods, giving us insight into:
- Brand story and history
- Market positioning
- Desired tone of voice
- Brand identity cues
By gathering all these ingredients and using our own tried-and-tested recipe for bringing a brand to life, we launched into the first steps of visual research for brand identity, including the most important thing: the brand’s name. Using the brand mission and market positioning, we conjured up a new business name that suited the brand’s direction.
Cherub was born.
But, where did this name come from? Our research revealed that cherubs – the cute, winged babies from historic art and literature – were known as the ‘Guardians of the Garden of Eden’. The brand’s environment-focused parallels were hard to ignore, as were the visual elements of their core product; Yorkshire puddings that were as pillowy and golden as heaven’s clouds.
This was further solidified by our brand discovery workshop research, revealing that the original creator of the recipe, Zoe – a vegan food magician and chef – was from the north of England, a place where “cherub” is also a term of endearment.
Guardians of good food
The first branding element of Cherub is the logo. It’s a strong identifier and holds symbolism that hints towards the typical ‘cherub’ form. It’s rounded, plump, and almost ‘squidgable’… You know what we mean. We analysed many base fonts before finalising and adjusting the mark to make it bold and legible, while still including rounded ligatures that create visual interest and hark to the playful nature of a cherub.
To further hint towards this connection, we tied the logo into the golden halo adorning many cherubs’ heads, introducing gold into the font and creating ‘Halorise’, a font that captured the golden rings or star-like bursts of these iconic headwear – if we can call them that.
Just like Cherub’s brand, the logo immediately evokes a feeling of goodness, honesty, and new beginnings.
Delicious, good food, for everyone
So, now we had the mission, a name, and a logo… but how did Cherub look and feel?
The next brand discovery phase involved a style board to extrapolate this new vision, tapping into desires to become an unashamedly premium household name for vegans and beyond. Understanding the client’s expectations alongside current trends and opportunities for innovation, we wanted to push this brand as far as we could.
Keen to avoid the direct or literal translation of “cherub,” we aimed to be creative and bring a characterful twist on tradition. We honed tone of voice through characterful typographic choices and experiments of hierarchy, making sure the brand was quietly confident with a timeless look, yet with a sense of goodness at its core.
The colour palette was constructed of shades and tints of individual colours, giving flexibility and range in how it could be used. They’d been chosen to hint towards the muted – yet vibrant – paintings and tapestries of the Renaissance, where the cherub-like forms we think of today were first conjured. These colours are contrasted and elevated using a timelessly premium black.
Cherub at their heart are foodies – guardians of deliciousness – and our imagery aimed to reflect this. Appealing, stylish, and well-prepared food that highlighted the pride and evolution of vegan food. For the first steps, we needed to be product-focussed, but mindful of the future, showing that at its core, Cherub helps people of all walks of life enjoy good food. Our chosen imagery was made to feel honest, considered without being too polished, and a combination of colour and warmth.
Crafting great taste with kindness
We had a few brand identity pillars set, but we needed to think about brand impact via application – in particular, packaging. After delving into current trends in the market and core competitors, we created a visual influence board based on keyword descriptors.
Strong and complex pattern work was also present and influenced our thinking on how patterns are used to create new and invigorating visual stimuli. From here, we landed on the circular design on the halo, which also happens to be the same shape as the mouth-watering Yorkshire pudding. Stick with us…
We were transported to our first experiences as budding artists, using whatever was in reach to create patterns. Namely, the humble technique of potato printing! With a childlike innocencewe armed ourselves with Yorkshire puddings and began printing. From playful experimentation to an almost scientific trialling of different printing techniques – testing weight, rotation, and even rolling rather than stamping – we searched for a pattern that felt like Cherub.
The experimental outputs were digitised and the brand colour palettes were applied, gradually becoming Cherub’s new brand pattern. The primary use was to create stand-out packaging with its own personality, but the pattern could also be applied to other areas of the brand in a flexible, ownable way.
Putting vegan roast dinners in the spotlight
Working with Cherub, we built the foundations for the brand to expand and grow across all brand exposure points. Our team worked to prioritise key needs, as well as anticipate additional needs for the future. We also collaborated with the brand on business stationery, gift cards, apparel, vehicle livery, social media templates, and even potential artwork – no matter where you first met Cherub, we wanted to make sure you understood who they are, what they do, and why they do it.
Giving wings to Cherub
In the modern world, the most visible and persuasive applications of branding tend to be on a brand’s website, and this was no different for Cherub.
The brand needed a refreshed website, not only giving Cherub the ability to grow their business through ecommerce for the first time, but also updating the visual brand identity along with everything we’d done up to this point. Cherub was about to fly.
When the team presented the designs back to us, we were completely blown away with what had been created. I think it looks fantastic. Really scalable, simple and elegant. Perfect for Premium Customers - Thank you for creating our vision to carry us to the future
Ian Jones, Cherub
By jumping into extensive visual research, collaborative workshops to understand the brand, and testing multiple angles and branding identities, we produced a strong visual story for Cherub, allowing them to launch into the vegan market as a confident, premium, and unique competitor.
The new Cherub website produced 11,885 visits in the first month with 27,441 page views.
We also launched this new brand identity across Facebook and Instagram with eye-catching social ads, reaching 1.75m people in a month and driving 8,054 website visits.
Not to brag, but even Waitrose couldn’t resist commenting our designs, saying that “the packaging looks great, really strong and premium branding.” Now, the sky really is the limit for Cherub.