Notice anything different?
In a recent post I mentioned that we’ve found ourselves on a path that we wouldn’t have predicted we’d be on just a few short years ago.
Although we’re not quite ready to quit our day jobs, the more we do here, the more produce we grow, the more fruit trees we graft and plant, the more chickens and turkeys we raise, the more hives, coops, and pens we build, and soon, the more goats we raise, the more we love what we do, and the more clear our path is before us.
When we started blogging what we’re doing here, we obviously needed a name, an identity. It made the most sense to name the farm though, not just the blog. After racking our brains for a few weeks trying to find a name that not only we felt a connection to, but that also had an available web domain, we finally settled on Curbstone Valley Farm.
For some time now we’ve been wanting to put together a more formal identity for the farm. Something simple, recognizable, but meaningful, primarily for our online branding, letterhead, honey labels, business cards, etc.
That said, our first attempt at an ‘identity’ of sorts was, well, hurried, and in my personal opinion, something of a flop.
What is a ‘Curbstone Valley’ anyway? It sounds nonsensical. In a half-hearted attempt, and somewhat at a loss, we ‘borrowed’ a triple spiral design from the carvings on the Newgrange kerbstones. I had no idea how to represent the farm’s name. It was never intended to be permanent, but at the time we had an orchard to plant, so it would have to do for the interim.
For those who don’t know, we have a very personal connection to the farm name, odd as the name may sound, as it’s a perfect anagram of our family names. When we finally succeed in moving to a new location, the farm name will follow us, no matter where we end up.
Those that follow our blog have a sense of who we are. Our friends know who we are. However, those that have never met us, in person, or virtually, have no idea who we are, or what we do, and our former logo did nothing to help convey that. That’s what identity, and branding, is all about. The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words, in regards to branding, is so true, but we found ourselves with something of an identity crisis. The farm name doesn’t lend itself well to an obvious image, so a few months ago we decided to hire some expert help.
Frustrated with my own lack of artistic ability, I asked a friend if she could help conceptualize, and represent, where we are today, and where we hope to be for many more years to come. We were fortunate in that she happens to do this sort of thing for a living, and has much more artistic talent than I do.
We began with some preliminary discussion to define what it is we do, or hope to do. At one point it almost seemed as if it would be easier to say what we don’t do, or plan to do! It quickly became clear that if we weren’t careful, between the native and heirloom gardens, bees, turkeys, goats, orchard, and poultry, that we couldn’t represent every aspect of what we do without the risk of the logo becoming muddled, overcrowded, and confused. We prioritized some elements over others, outlined some preferred color palettes, and left the rest to her imagination.
Soon thereafter we had the first round of illustrations presented to us, with various concepts for our perusal, and immediately a particular, unique, illustration struck a chord with me. After some brief discussion, our new Curbstone Valley Farm logo was born. Between us, for reference purposes, this logo was affectionately dubbed ‘Farm Woman’.
Despite being quite simple overall, this new logo conveys a tremendous amount of information about us, and about the Farm. That’s exactly what we were looking for.
We both gravitate toward early 20th Century Craftsman Period art and architecture, hence the use of a custom font in the style of that period. It’s similar to the font we’ve used previously, but now with a few changes it’s uniquely our own. In a perfect world, our ideal would be someday to find a farmhouse, with land attached, from the Craftsman period, with all of its original woodwork intact. I know, that’s a fairly tall order, especially around here, but we can dream, can’t we?
Over the last few years we’ve become rather fascinated with sourcing, and grafting, old heirloom varieties of apples, and one of our priorities is to find a few more level acres so we can expand the heirloom orchard, as our existing orchard is getting crowded, and stifling our apple cultivar
hoarding planting potential!
The apple that ‘Farm Woman’ is holding represents our love of this diverse fruit, and provides a fabulous pop of color in the logo too.
Nothing of course would be possible in the gardens without our pollinators, all of our pollinators, but the honeybees especially have been a fabulous addition to the farm, and honestly, now, I can’t imagine not keeping bees. It’s something I hope to keep doing long into my dodderage, both for the simple fascination with these industrious insects, and of course, for the delightful honey they produce. This lovely worker bee was illustrated for us based directly on one of our photographs that we’d taken during a hive inspection last year.
Then of course, there are the goats. Don’t laugh, but I actually resisted getting goats, for years, much to Mr. CV’s dismay. Eventually he convinced me, and yes, now that we have goats I am kicking myself that we didn’t do it sooner. I said before that we want the extra room for a larger orchard, but that’s only a half-truth…well, maybe a quarter-truth. If I’m being completely honest, we really want the extra acreage for more dairy goats. There, I admitted it.
Central to the logo though is ‘Farm Woman’ herself. We wrestled with this just a little at first, as Curbstone Valley would not be possible without either one of us. On this farm there’s no question that there’s an amazing farm man behind this ‘Farm Woman’, who helps to make everything possible here on a day-to-day basis. I couldn’t do it without him, any more than he could do this without me. However, at the risk of morphing the logo into something resembling ‘American Gothic‘, for simplicity sake, we decided that it was just fine to allow this red-headed Farm Woman to take center stage.
So, from today forward, we’re thrilled to say that Curbstone Valley Farm no longer has a crisis of identity. Our new Farm logo is something we feel finally represents us, as well as what we’re doing here, and hope to still be doing for many more years to come.
Now that our online identity has been transformed, we can finally to start apply our new logo to other things. Perhaps some snappy new business cards…
…and this year we’re looking forward to finally being able to label our honey jars too!
I’m sure we’ll find a myriad of other uses over the coming months as well. In the meantime we’d like to extend a very special thank you to Susan, at Stirling Design, for our fabulous new farm logo!