New York’s Hudson Valley has an irresistible draw on the entire ThoughtMatter studio. Although we each have our own angle, we can agree that the lure has something to do with its rich scenic destinations and world-class restaurants, wineries and cultural centers; National Geographic Traveler named the Hudson Valley a Top 20 Best of the World Destinations. But undoubtedly, the draw also comes from its thriving agriculture and budding creative communities.
During our exploration of the region, we hopped on Metro-North Railroad out of Grand Central to explore Cold Spring and introduce ourselves to Glynwood, an organization whose mission it is to ensure the Hudson Valley is known to all for its food and thriving farms.
As both a working farm and nonprofit, Glynwood has many programs focused on farmer vocational training, food system and market development, and marketing initiatives. One such program is Kitchen Cultivars, first launched in 2015 as a “farmer-to-chef seed grow-out.” Its mission is to unite regional farmers and restaurateurs in the protection, promotion and proliferation of regionally adapted heirloom seeds. Needless to say, we were excited at the prospect of helping define a brand for this program and its activities.
We needed to create a brand identity to raise awareness of not only the region-wide program but also the events held throughout the fall and winter showcasing the roles growers, chefs and eaters have in preserving and popularizing unique regional foods.
With a diverse audience of farmers, growers, chefs, restaurants, diners, and the media, we knew we had to create a visual system that was flexible and easy to use.We began by digging deep and learning more about seed-saving biodiversity, Hudson Valley food culture, and the Hudson Valley Seed Company. We developed creative territories which helped us narrow in on a direction for the manifestation of the brand. Our research and idea development culminated in a workshop with the Glynwood team. The chosen concept was built around diversity, playfulness, and the idea of a dinner party.
The final Kitchen Cultivars identity is a playful, bold burst of food. The logo is designed to feel casual and accessible, incorporating a seedpod—representing a key component of the program. We created a system of elements to be easily recognizable, but also very adaptable. The brand identity includes a celebratory food pattern, clean and simple typography, a bold color palate and playful icons. We created a brand guideline to keep the identity system consistent and cohesive as the program is rolled out with partners and contributors. The new Kitchen Cultivars identity is making its debut this January during a series of menu specials and dinner events in more than 25 restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley.
“We initiated this project with ThoughtMatter to express the identity and energy behind this creative collaboration among food and farming professionals throughout our region.”
” A critical part of this project is raising awareness about the importance of seed origins in sustainable agriculture, a somewhat hidden but intrinsic aspect of the ‘farm to table’ movement,” said Sara Grady, Vice-President of Programs for Glynwood. “From a consumer standpoint, we wanted to call out the role that chefs and eaters both have in preserving and popularizing unique regional foods. We initiated this project with Thought Matter to express the identity and energy behind this creative collaboration among food and farming professionals throughout our region. The style guide they created is a fully realized tool kit that will serve this project’s communications efforts, even as it evolves over time.”
From January 23rd through February 6th, twenty-one restaurants will feature the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, one of Kitchen Cultivars’ inaugural products, in menu specials and dinner events, including:
Glynwood is an agricultural nonprofit organization based in Cold Spring, New York, that works toward its mission of ensuring that the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food through core programming developed and implemented to further enhance the viability of sustainable farming. To ensure the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food, where farming thrives, Glynwood works to advance regenerative agriculture that benefits the natural environment, energizes local economies, enhances human health and strengthens rural communities.