Their professor Elissa Von Letkemann, a Salem resident and independent graphic designer, spearheaded the project. She reached out to owners Denise and Al two years ago to offer her services, and has been repeatedly called upon since their launch to work with the company. She has even become close friends with the co-founders.
“Al is always looking for something new and exciting whether it is an unexpected cider variety or a new label, but as a branding person, I tend to stay close to the curb with their established logo and look,” Elissa explained.
During a design meeting late last summer, she proposed the idea that her class could potentially satiate Al’s desire to see some totally unexpected designs and new interpretations of Far From the Tree.
“For the students, I thought it would be a great, real world design project because they could work directly with a client, design a label from concept to shelf, and then have a beautiful, produced piece for their portfolio which otherwise consists mostly of school projects,” Elissa said.
Al and Denise visited with the students to give them some background on the company. The left the students with just a few basic, necessary descriptors and a quite open competition to explore their ideas.
“They really encouraged total creativity so it was a nice contrast to my more traditional design assignments where they had to work within an established brand,” Elissa explained.
The students were super excited according to their professor with one student even continuing their participation despite dropping the class due to a scheduling conflict.
“The spirit was to give everyone an opportunity to do something awesome,” Al said. “As students, getting a taste of the real world is priceless.”
The end results were quite varied. During a second meeting and presentation by the students, the cofounders believed there were many that represented the brand and the concept behind the launch.
In the end, nine labels were presented for the final production launch. 400 of each design were printed and canned earlier this week. They are available exclusively at Far From the Tree’s tasting room with a soft opening currently underway until they host an official launch party to share the student art on Thursday, March 3.