Betterer Foods created RightRice: a dry, shelf-stable grain made from rice and vegetables, including lentils, chickpeas, and green peas. RightRice has more than double the protein, five times the fiber, and 40% fewer net carbs than traditional rice. But the product still tastes and looks like rice, and is faster and easier to cook.
RightRice founder Keith Belling, the founder and former CEO of popchips, asked IDEO to design a brand that would communicate the product’s benefits. The start-up needed everything from a defined target consumer and brand story to a stand-out package design, website, and go-to-market materials.
I led the project alongside a team of a writer, communication designer, and interaction designer. We listened to people's challenges with rice and eating healthfully: home cooks find it difficult to store fresh foods without them going bad, busy professionals are strapped for time when preparing balanced meals, and parents sneak vegetables into dishes like casseroles or mac and cheese. Some consumers say they avoid rice because it’s a carbohydrate, describing themselves as “carb phobic” or that they consider rice a “guilty pleasure.” Others don’t eat rice because it makes them feel sluggish or bloated, or is too difficult or time-consuming to prepare. Overall, people wished rice could be healthier, simpler to cook, and still taste delicious.
We translated these insights into a brand foundation that helped RightRice come to life on shelves, online, and in the world for customers. The package messaging emphasizes the vegetable ingredients, and the cut-out window lets consumers see that the product looks like rice. The shape of the window simultaneously forms a bowl of rice and a smile—a nod to the delight and comfort of eating rice.
The RightRice brand makes it easier for consumers to have health, convenience, and good taste in one accessible product.
RightRice launched nationwide in Whole Foods and Amazon in February 2019. Additionally, the company is working with a variety of children’s organizations to share its nutritious rice by the bowlful.
In 2003, Emily and Anjan Mitra spent their honeymoon in India, savoring the street food of Anjan’s childhood in Mumbai (often still called Bombay). After returning to San Francisco, they found themselves longing for those distinctive flavors and dishes. Realizing that most Bay Area diners had never seen nor tasted these foods, Emily and Anjan founded DOSA, an upscale, full-service restaurant that introduced the Bay Area to Southern Indian cuisine. Locals came to try the unique, plant-forward dishes, and left with satisfied bellies and a broader understanding of Indian culture.
The entrepreneurs envisioned a brand extension of DOSA: a counter-service restaurant that could scale nationally. The hospitality venture, called dosa by DOSA, would offer healthful Indian street food made from local and seasonal ingredients. Emily and Anjan also set out to expand their existing product line-up—including cold lassi beverages, simmering sauces, and grab-and-go-meals—to national grocers and retailers and needed launch-ready packaging that was convenient, eye-catching, and environmentally-friendly. The new expression would enable consumers to experience dosa by DOSA and Southern India in a variety of forms and places. Emily and Anjan partnered with IDEO to establish a cohesive and consistent brand experience, from the restaurant and to-go meals to retail stores and mobile delivery.
I co-led the project in close partnership with the founders, their staff, Feldman Architecture and MPADA. Our team set out to bring dosa by DOSA to life and help it scale through brand, environment, and experience design. This included creating everything from the logo and packaging to the menu and operations strategy, with each element tying back to the founders’ vision of sharing Indian heritage and traditions through cuisine.
We began by seeking cultural inspiration for dosa by DOSA’s brand identity system—the logo, colors, values, fonts, and messaging—to guide future designs. We learned that Indian truck drivers decorate their trucks with garlands, signs, or flags that engage other drivers or bring luck. The dosa by DOSA logo design and its wood-cut typeface are inspired by the dimensionality of this homespun art form, while the vibrant, eclectic colors reflect the streets and textures of urban Mumbai.
The goal of opening people’s minds to Indian cooking and culture extends to the packaging, which meets customers’ needs and playfully educates them. The food containers—made from recycled and compostable material—feature brightly patterned labels reminiscent of the trucks. Some have built-in compartments suited to multiple dipping chutneys, making it convenient to sample a variety of Indian flavors. Paper tray covers resembling Mumbai newspapers offer eating tips like “Be civilized. Eat with your hands,” encouraging diners to experience an Indian custom.
To design the diner experience and restaurant environment in a way that invites curiosity about the culture and cuisine, the team started with diners: We identified key moments in their experience like entering, waiting in line, and paying. The floor plan, furniture, lighting, signage, and menu were designed around these touchpoints. For example, while customers wait in line, they can watch dosa being prepared, as if they’re eager and hungry travelers awaiting street food.
The dosa by DOSA menu includes distinctive items like coconut kale mung bean salad and hot chai tea made with caramelized milk—the way Anjan’s mother prepared it. To help the restaurant scale, the team created a preliminary furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) budget, 3D renderings of the space, and an operations strategy for the founders and their employees.
The dosa by DOSA flagship launched in January 2018 in Oakland, California. The IDEO brand guidelines have enabled the dosa by DOSA team to independently and easily shepherd new product lines to market, including salads, wraps, and simmering sauces. The brand’s packaged food launched in over 200 natural food stores in 24 months—including over 100 Whole Foods locations—as well as online retailers and delivery services like Good Eggs and Caviar. These items and the restaurant have helped Emily and Anjan realize their vision of bringing the flavor and spirit of Southern Indian cuisine to new communities around the world.
BARREL + INK
In November 2014, I joined a small team to lead the creative direction and co-create Barrel + Ink, a new kind of wine company and brand we built from the ground up.
Barrel + Ink provides a blank canvas for the world's best winemakers to craft limited-run wines with complete creative freedom. Each winemaker is paired with an iconic designer or artist we established relationships with and connected. From the label to the cork to the wine inside the bottle, every element is crafted to provide the ultimate drinking experience.
The idea for Barrel + Ink was originally conceived in 2011 by Founder and CEO, Corey Miller, and initially kicked-off by the talented husband and wife duo, Eight Hour Day. I worked alongside a diverse team (including writer/creative thinker Kristin Kelly and photographer Josh Harding) to fully bring the brand expression to life including the development of the business platform, brand personality and foundation, the visual identity and design system, website, product and package design, consumer communications, winemaker + designer interviews, social media presence, and storytelling approach.
Since 2012, I've worked on a variety of projects as a freelancer for Williams-Sonoma. Some of the work was specifically focused on hand-lettering, while other designs included illustration or overall package design and layout.
At Target, all designers in the creative in-house studio are given the chance to pitch ideas for gift card designs. We'd sketch concepts, share the ideas, and then the selected designs would move into development. For some, I would art direct the photoshoot, for others, I would partner with a talented illustrator, and for others, I would actually create the illustrations myself. Here are the designs that I either illustrated or art directed.
Since 2014, I've had the pleasure of working with art directors at Papyrus to illustrate custom greeting cards and gift wrap designs. The projects take my hand-lettering to a new level by incorporating beautiful foils and interesting printing techniques. Here are a few of the designs that I illustrated and were sold in stores.
I worked alongside a multi-disciplinary team at IDEO to design a brand vision for ConAgra's Kangaroo pita chip brand. The project included the visual identity, tone of voice, packaging, food product, and trial and awareness strategy.
After understanding that pita is viewed as an accompaniment to a dip (like hummus), we saw an opportunity to heroize and forefront the flavor. The brand was already using simple ingredients and basic processes, so we wanted to visually represent the new explosive, bold flavor through the use of real ingredients.
The ConAgra team took the concept to market in 33 working days, launching at Costco, just in time for the Super Bowl.
As part of the Target in-house creative studio, I art directed the Bullseye Speaks print campaign. The ads showcased many of the well-designed, everyday objects that play a role in life, representing how Target helps you make the most out of every day.
Pico Taqueria is family-run outdoor restaurant in Chincoteague Island, VA, that serves up a fresh take on the classic taco. "Pico" translates from Spanish to mean both "peak" (as in they use fresh, seasonal produce when it's at its peak) and "beak" (which inspired the use of a rooster in the logo).
I illustrated the rooster logomark, hand-lettered the logotype, selected the color palette, and created t-shirt designs.
HOW TO MAKE DILL DEVILED EGGS
Because my husband is a photographer (and because we are basically creative nerds), we decided to experiment with stop-motion by creating this video together — you know, just for fun.
The video was selected to be in the 2012 Communication Arts Typography Annual.
Missoni is a high-end Italian fashion house known for its colorful knitwear. They partnered with Target for a limited edition designer collaboration: Missoni for Target. The 400-piece collection brought Missoni's iconic designs across clothing, home goods, and kitchenware. I worked with Maria Horn to design the packaging visual system from hang tags to sleeves to boxes, incorporating the Missoni identity and boldly contrasting simple colors with the iconic patterns. We brought this same concept into the photo art direction of the product photography.
The branding and packaging system was the winner of the American Package Design Awards 2012, GD USA in the fashion category.
THE FROSTY LLAMA
The Frosty Llama is a small, family-owned frozen yogurt shop that's all about life's sweet simplicities. They offer creamy frozen yogurt, made-to-order doughnuts, and deliciously crafted coffee—all in a casual, family-friendly environment where you can sit, relax, and enjoy.
I developed the brand identity from scratch. The overarching system design included naming, logo design, illustration, stationery design, copy writing, website design, and apparel design amongst other applications.
The light-hearted, youthful design speaks to the owner's desire to add a little bit of a delight to the day. The logo is designed to flex with the season, and the llama's scarf playfully changing in pattern and design. The pattern family is as eclectic as the yogurt toppings themselves, and the illustration style extends the visual language of the logo design.
IDEO San Francisco is divided into four unique studios based on areas of business, focus, and passion. One of these studios is Design for Food (or what we like to simply call Food Studio). The studio of 20 designers focuses on a range of projects in the food and beverage space, from new products and brands to systems and experiences.
I developed the studio's visual identity. Since Design for Food is a focused team within IDEO, the "D" letterform was taken from the parent IDEO wordmark. The system was designed to flex with the variety of clients we partner with in the food and beverage space.
A collection of different color palettes, patterns, and photographs can be used to customize the look and feel of materials to resonate with the client's focus area, all while being part of a larger cohesive visual system.
I had the pleasure of working on Target Baby projects and campaigns. For Target Baby, I designed and art directed in-store signage, welcome kits, and direct mail pieces. I also worked on the packaging and print ads for designer collaborations like Splendid Littles for Target, The Little Seed for Target, and Petit Tresor for Target.
While working at Yahoo!, the company held many events and activities for employees. This limited-run screen-printed poster that I designed for a Black History Month event plays with the relationship of positive and negative space, overlapping and intertwining black and white arms.
KOHN + HARRIS WEDDING
I worked with Jocelyn Kohn and Oliver Harris to create their wedding stationery suite. Held in Charleston, SC, and with a coastal-inspired theme, I illustrated and painted watercolor oyster shells that carried across the stationery system.
The IDEO Food Studio occasionally hosts educational sessions centered around a topic in the food and beverage space. The series of events is called c.school (short for "culinary" school). I designed the posters and created the illustrations for each of the events.
I love, love, love the holidays (who doesn't?!). In addition to the Papyrus work I've done, I enjoy creating personal holiday cards. Occasionally you'll catch me at Wunderfaire, a handmade craft fair held at IDEO San Francisco, selling some of these designs.
I was invited to contribute to the 2013 "Today is Going to be a Great Day" Page-A-Day calendar and book. The book features uplifting and motivational words—culled from quotes, proverbs, songs, and more—brought to life with custom hand-lettering from designers and illustrators across the nation.
Interested in purchasing a print? You can buy one here.
This range of work is an exploration in hand-lettering. Some pieces were created for clients while others were personal projects.
KOHN + HARDING WEDDING
These are the wedding invitations I designed for my now-husband and myself. Held in Savannah, GA, the design incorporates a simple white background juxtaposed with organic flourishes. If you are interested in downloading the beautiful display font, you can find it here (designed by Jessica Hische).