Late last year, Sarah Williams of Sustain, the alliance for better food and farming, got in touch with us as they were looking for a rebrand for their good food magazine Jellied Eel.
The brief was simple. The Jellied Eel has been running for about 8 years and has grown from a small newsletter to a print run of 30k, with each magazine having about two readers per copy – an estimated readership of about 60k people. They wanted us to refresh the brand and to make the magazine more modern and appealing. The Jellied Eel have a loyal fan base so we wanted to make sure that the rebrand was something that both captured the essence of the great work that they do but also enhanced it.
We were really excited to be involved with the magazine as we were fans of the great stories that we had read in previous editions. Jellied Eel told us that they were intending to publish new and back issue stories on their website so the rebrand needed to be sympathetic to both print and online. It was an excellent opportunity to help them amplify their message through both outlets. The brief from the team at the London Food Link was ‘to entice people to read about good food and the associated issues. We hope that by engaging with our content in print and online, they will be inspired to think more carefully about these issues.’
We started by looking at some historical London pie shop signs for inspiration and noticed the bold and decorative letters that are often quite ornate and can be found hand-painted on mirrors in and around the shops. We wanted to reference these but to also create something fresh and modern. Since the logo was to be the masthead for the magazine, we worked on a landscape format.
For the typography, we created a new alphabet called ‘Jellied Eel Caps’ which formed the basis for the logo and could also be used for headers or Drop Caps in the future. Utensils were incorporated into the crossbar of the ‘E’ and, as there are four ‘E’s in the logo, this made it possible to include a knife, fork, spoon and spatula. We paired this with a Google font Work, which could be used across the team at no cost.
We also created a colour palette which was an extension of the Sustain palette. This could be rotated across upcoming issues to maintain consistency both online and in print and also help to build the brand.
The magazine’s layouts needed to be set out as templates which would not only allow them to have distinct styles for certain features but would offer uniformity across each issue. They could also be updated more quickly and efficiently. In our print design templates, we colour-coded and styled some of the feature sections so that they could be easily recognized each month and would allow fans of that particular feature to access them instantly. We designed the index page to be very visual and easy to navigate and the ‘Around Town’ event page to be very systematic.
Our next step was to design a system of icons to go with the theme ‘Eat, Save, Forage, Cook, Grow’ which could be used in the online and print magazines. Overall, the team at Sustain were very pleased with the work and Gavin Dupee, Head of Digital and Design who was overseeing the rebranding process on their end said: “Miho really understood what we want to say with our rebranding of the Jellied Eel. Great work!”
For the online magazine, we worked up some visuals for the homepage and the main article and the team translated it on to the lovely site that we see here, in line with their exact content needs.
We are excited about this work and really glad that we could create a comprehensive solution which will help to showcase these important stories for many more years. A project like this is really exciting to be a part of and it was inspiring to witness how we can potentially use our design skills to create an appealing brand that will engage those who read it and are interested in good food and sustainability.
Be sure to get your copy in various foodie locations across London like Borough Market. Please also check out their online site here. A special thanks to the Jellied Eel and Sustain team for all of their help and support in getting the project completed. Thank you to Syd Hausmann for the artwork assistance on the letterforms.