Here is a behind the scenes look at the brand design for root + river.
root + river is one of those unique brands you dream of working with. It was founded on the belief that all brands begin at the root. And they practice what they preach, which is rare. After meeting with co-founders, Emily and Justin, their passion and drive to help leaders uncover the souls of their brands was contagious. I was excited and flattered to design their brand identity.
In the discovery phase, Emily sent over their creative brief that was filled with inspiring visual breadcrumbs that got my mind racing with ideas. I learned so much about their brand and my favorite takeaway was how they describe the essence of root + river:
r + r is a brand that begins at the soulful level, using the alchemy of its experience with people, businesses, marketing and branding to find truth and authenticity. r + r is uncompromising in its commitment to applying this essence (the vision of the leader) – to propel people, businesses and work cultures forward.
The font for the typographic logo was chosen because of it’s subtle organic and natural texture and I created a secondary logo that had that same vibe. It was very important to have a sense of simplicity in the design.
The root + river color palette is warm and earthy. The rich neutral earth tones have a natural but powerful feel while the navy’s classic charm give it a timeless feel. While the bold and fiery accent colors add a pop of energy to the palette.
A fun element from this brand project was creating an accent font based off of Emily's handwriting. It became the playful brand font that could be used graphically and/or in call outs throughout their brand collateral.
A lot of the design cues for this brand were taken from their organic process of uncovering the root and soul of the brands they work with. With that in mind, I began to create graphical elements that would emphasize this organic feel.
This organic feel also needed to show through in their social media presence. I created an example of what a branded Instragram feed would look like. Using a mix of great imagery and branded graphics makes the feed look and feel more consistent and authentic.
Creating patterns for a brand adds another level of depth. When creating a brand pattern for root+river, I wanted to keep it simple. I designed a pattern of wavy lines that make you think of a river flowing. This gives the brand more texture, especially when it is used as an overlay on photos.
The brand really starts to shape as I build out the collateral pieces.
The Happy Client
co-founder & strategist
root + river
"The experience of working with Jen Pace Duran of Pace Creative on my company's brand was something that design rarely is — totally enjoyable, comfortable and definitive. We had worked with three other designers to capture our essence in design before finding Jen. Never satisfied, I was at least a little skeptical about us getting to a place where both my co-founder and I were pleased with the result.
Jen's process of understanding the brand of our start-up from the heart out, then collaborating on a mood board, then providing designs that reflected all she had learned about us was impressive. She is a listener, an intelligent and intentional designer, and a skilled, modern marketer who combines her mind and art to achieve design greatness.
I trust Jen implicitly with all aspects of our brand, and now rely on her for additional design, including social icons, document templates, presentation decks, infographics and much more.
Her work is thorough, thoughtful, beautiful and impactful. I am not easily impressed.
Even more impressive than her work is her person: she's delightful, totally competent, and a diligent businesswoman. I now refer her to everyone I know."