We connected with Tyler Lalka, owner of Rolling Hills Rolled Ice Cream, in the spring of 2020 to design a logo and brand for his new business. Much like us, Tyler was navigating the obstacles of starting a company at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making him one of our earliest fully-remote clients. Being in the early days of our own start-up, we only had Zoom and Slack to manage this remote project, but even with limited project management resources and pandemic woes, we had a great time designing Rolling Hills’ logo and brand.
The deliverable for this project was a logo with which Rolling Hills would identify themselves. Putting emphasis on kindness and community, Tyler wanted something professional while still being fun and welcoming for his customers.
First, we gathered information regarding his vision for the business to help guide the creative process. We collected brands he would like to associate his business with, how they are similar, and how they would like to differentiate themselves. This step is important to help us understand our client’s target market, tone of voice, and brand positioning.
The first round of concepts consisted of nearly ten different ideas, all in the form of sketches. For this particular project we did our sketches on an iPad, sharing a digital “sketchbook” in the form of a PDF with the client. Each sketch came with a written explanation of the concept for context.
Nearly every option consisted of a different type of swirling flourish to represent either a roll of ice cream, hills, or an implied rolling motion. Some concepts were type-centric, while others were more iconographic. One in particular was a vintage seal-style logo that seemed to resonate really well with everyone.
We repeated the concept elimination process until we settled on just three solid logos, with a few variations each. Option 1 was a mountain range with hills in front that flourish into rolls of ice cream. The mountains had a slight blue/purple gradient to depict a chilly sunset. Option 2 was a similar concept artistically, but was executed very differently. This version had brown mountains, and the hills were three different colors to represent different flavors of ice cream. This was all enclosed in a seal, wrapped in text, and complemented with a little swirling flourish where the sun would possibly go.
The Winning Logo
Option 2 was the winning logo which would receive final revisions for production. The final version became less abstract, dropping the neapolitan hills for a singular green color. We also no longer saw the need for all three hills, so one was dropped in the final round, and the remaining two were re-situated to balance out the composition.
In this final round we created a landscape version of the logo, a stacked version, and finalized the seal. This was a process that we followed on a regular basis, as logos need to be readable in many different instances. For example, pens require a landscape composition, and large scale signage allows for enough room to include the seal. The trick is making it look like a cohesive system!
The final color palette consisted of cool, pastel tones of blue, green, brown, pink, and black. Cool colors can often come across as “cold” which can run the risk of not feeling welcoming, so striking a good balance between cold ice cream and warm attitudes was very important.
We don’t use slab serif fonts often, but in this specific case we broke out Macklin Variable Slab for its rustic, yet friendly features. Its sans serif companion, Macklin Variable Sans, was used for typographic contrast. Both fonts can be found in the logo and on the tagline wordmark (next section).
Somewhere along the way we came up with a tagline that we found fun and relevant to Rolling Hills’ mission: “Kindness Is How We Roll.” Anytime a brand can implement a witty and memorable tagline we encourage them to own it. This specific project did not include a tagline in the creative brief, but it tends to appear as a byproduct of the rest of the creative process.
*Of course we didn’t just write it out though, because that wouldn’t have the same impact!
Rolling Hills Rolled Ice Cream has become a well known brand in northern West Virginia and southern Pennsylvania. Setting up shop at events for local businesses, and even at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Waters, Rolling Hills has uniforms featuring their logo and serve their ice cream in branded cups. They are a great example of a business that routinely generates brand recognition through being present in their community and differentiating themselves from their competitors with a unique identity.
Learn more about this project in our portfolio.
Visit Rolling Hills Rolled Ice Cream’s website.