Branding 309 Cultures

309 Cultures is a line of fermented foods started by raw vegan Joe Zich. The line features three different blends of organic vegetables preserved with probiotics. Most commonly added to salads and main dishes, these blends add flavor and serve as a powerful probiotic supplement.

309 Cultures partnered with Naturally Yours Grocery to have access to a commercial kitchen for production and began selling the three blends in their store in November 2018. Before production began, Joe approached Lettering Works. He knew that the packaging would be key for a successful launch and help his products stand out on the shelves.

Joe Zich selling 309 Cultures Sauerkraut and Kimchi at his first market, the 25 on the 25th Makers Market, at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in November 2018.

Joe Zich selling 309 Cultures Sauerkraut and Kimchi at his first market, the 25 on the 25th Makers Market, at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in November 2018.

Joe had a pretty clear idea of what he was looking for when he came to Lettering Works in the fall of 2018. He brought a sketch of his vision for the ferment labels and knew he wanted a logo that emphasized Peoria (the 309) and the origins of the his organic produce (Illinois). I took his ideas and ran with them - developing a refined logo following his concept and exploring options for packaging that reflected the boldness of the blends.

Joe’s sketch that he brought to the first logo and packaging planning meeting.

Joe’s sketch that he brought to the first logo and packaging planning meeting.

The 309 Cultures Logo Design

Initial concepts for the 309 Cultures logo

Initial concepts for the 309 Cultures logo

Final 309 Cultures logo design

Final 309 Cultures logo design

Pattern made from the 309 Cultures logo and hand-drawn mason jar graphic

Pattern made from the 309 Cultures logo and hand-drawn mason jar graphic

The 309 Cultures Package Design

After discussing ideas and goals, we knew that we wanted a package that was artistic, expressive, and matched the bold colors of the final product. Joe planned to pack each blend of 309 Cultures into a reusable mason jar, allowing the product to be the hero and label to complement and inform.

I created a custom drawn background pattern - which was used across all three blends. The packaging included all the necessary information - nutrition facts, ingredients, the 309 Cultures story, etc but emphasized boldness and simplicity.

The formula for creating these (unique product information + brand story + pattern + unique product colors) allows for easy expansion of the product line in the future. This intentional flexibility built into the design system is one of the values delivered from working with a professional designer. While the labels may look simple, a lot of thought and planning went into them and their structure.

Kimchi Label design

Kimchi Label design

Purple Kurry Kraut Label design

Purple Kurry Kraut Label design

Sauerkraut Label design

Sauerkraut Label design

Social Media

Joe Zich is known on Instagram by both @easygoingplantbased and @309cultures. He does a great job sharing his personal journey in business alongside his vibrant ferments and dishes.

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You can purchase 309 Cultures at Naturally Yours Grocery in the Metro Centre in Peoria, at various pop-ups around Central Illinois, or pre-order them through www.peoriama.de.

To get started on your own branding or packaging project with Lettering Works, contact us via our Contact Form. It doesn’t matter if you have a clear direction like Joe did or are looking for help in bringing the vision in your head to life, we are always looking for new and unique branding projects to work on. Our passion lies in creating effective designs to help your passion shine.