Hi, Simon here. As our loyal customers, friends and Bee Good supporters will have noticed, we've recently made some quite big changes to our website and our logo - the Bee Good brand is evolving! These are really exciting times for us so I thought I'd share some of how Bee Good came about and the journey we've been on so far...
One of the traditional reasons for people to keep bees is obviously to harvest the honey they produce, which you can then give/barter/sell locally as there is always an insatiable demand for local honey.
Back in 2006, I came up with the name "Bee Good" for our fledgling honey business, and the next step was coming up with a logo suitable for the label on honey jars. The norm within beekeeping is to use a honeycomb design or photos of bees, or to use generic honey labels and simply add your own name...but I wanted something a bit different.
The inspiration for the original Bee Good logo came from some "bees with smiles" that my daughter had drawn at primary school one day. The picture looks now suspiciously like the life-cycle of a butterfly...but never mind - daughters are always right!
As with all things, there are rules and regulations about the selling of honey and what information and legalities must be on the label, so we were constrained on how large we could make the branding and the logo, in order to fit everything else around it.
Because of this, we decided that we'd need two versions of the logo - both compact and longer versions for different types of jars and layouts.
I recently took a trip down memory lane, digging out the original concepts for the Bee Good logo from 7 years ago. The bees on the left looked "cute" but a bit aimless, whereas the font looked very crisp and clean compared to the Hobo font used in the other ones. The bees in the middle looked purposeful and we loved the use of the flower as part of the overall design. The bees on the right looked a bit "stingy" but we loved the idea of using the heart shaped wings and so elements of all three original designs came together in the final designs below.
These designs have been used ever since on our honey jar labels, website and also on our first generation of skincare products and they have served us well during our time as essentially a "home-made" brand. Our honey was extracted and bottled at home and all our candles and honey-based skincare was designed and produced in the kitchen.
These designs for the Bee Good logo clearly worked and our hobby business grew exponentially to the point that the sheer effort of meeting the increasing demand drove us to put the business on a much more secure standing. This has meant raising money and recruiting marketing professionals like Rebecca and Toni who between them have many years of marketing and selling cosmetics and skincare brands. They advised me that one of the first things that Bee Good needed was a fresh identity that reflected the company's new, more professional image, so our next job was to look for a design agency to work with on developing all aspects of the company's brand identity including main logos, web graphics, packaging designs etc.
Early on we met local design business, Halo Associates based down the road in Ringwood, Hampshire and immediately we "clicked" with their team, especially as Andrew, the MD is also a fellow Beekeeper! (I think the rest of the team made a mental note following the first meeting - never put two 'Bee Geeks' together in a room when you've got an agenda to stick to - you're guaranteed the meeting will over-run!) Despite all the bee-talk, Halo quickly got under the skin of the Bee Good brand, they understood exactly what we were trying to achieve, and they started work on producing some great new branding. These are some of the initial concepts.
From the beginning we liked the simplicity of the two yellow logos that really stood out, but thought the two round images were too complex, especially with the handwritten text that was difficult to read at a distance. The hexagon was a great shape that is always very much identified with bees and honeycomb, but was it possibly too simplistic?
We asked Halo to work on the hexagon a bit more and to incorporate a picture of a bee rather than the hive emphasizing the "Bee" part of Bee Good, and they came up with the above logos, but I thought the bee looked like it was pinned to a board - too static. We also wanted to emphasis our "Britishness" in the fact that we were sourcing all our key ingredients from British beekeepers and our plant oils from British farmers, but the Union Jack in the final image was too small and indistinct...
We thought that our logo was starting to come together and liked the hexagon and text, but we were not sure what style the bee at the centre of the image should be. Halo produced two versions for us to put to the vote with some of our customers. For such a small but important bee, it took quite a while to make our decision as we liked elements about both. The final decision was based on the fact that customers preferred the more realistic bee and also on the fact that when we scaled down the logos to the size they would appear on packaging, the sketchy bee became very indistinct so the more realistic bee it was!
I wanted the bee to be as anatomically accurate as possible and was driving my colleagues slowly insane whilst Halo continued to tweak the detail of the bee design again and again. In the end we decided to go with the final design as a compromise between accuracy and simplicity.
The complete design started coming together with the black and white style giving a great contrast allowing us to place it on any type of background. When used on our packaging, the monochrome logo stood out really well bringing a contemporary yet classic feel to the brand. So now the logo is complete we will share in another posting how the new-look packaging has been developed in parallel...the journey continues!