Doughnut Vault

Did you know Doughnut Vault is one Chicago's top tourist attractions? So you probably wouldn't expect them to have a 100 square foot store front to sell their hand crafted treats, right? This discovery sparked my interest in this little company that led me to redesign everything from their logo, to coffee cups and even creating a brand standards manual. 

I spent 15 weeks working with Doughnut Vault's brand for a semester rebranding project. I wanted to create an identity for them that was recognizable and could be expanded as the company grows. The process began with preliminary research about the company's history and current identity. What I found was they pride themselves on the simplicity and authenticity of their brand. I used this as the foundation of my creative process as I explored design solutions. 

The first, and probably the most important, component of the brand I explore was the logo. The current logo is very simple and does not give much insight into the brand, other than its name. In my research I discovered the name "Doughnut Vault" originated from the architectural elements on the companies original Franklin St. location. I looked into the architectural structure of these vaults and found that they emulated the same curved shape as a doughnut. I decided to explore how the doughnut, or rather half of a doughnut could be used to reflect the architectural style of these vaults. 

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After establishing the style direction of the logo, I began to play with how the type could interact with the mark. I liked the idea of the type in relation to the mark creating the shape of the vault somewhat organically. But I struggled to find a typeface that could do this and still fit the style of the mark. Eventually, I stumbled upon a typeface that I felt was most reflective of the brand and was able to settle on a final logo design. 

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After the logo was solidified, it was time to start applying it. I started by creating a stationery system including: business cards, letter head and envelopes. The stationery was where the addition of the sprinkle pattern was introduced. From there, I developed a series of collateral items including: uniforms, packaging, souvenirs and more. With these different applications, I was able to explore how the logo could be used as separate elements as well as discovered other visual elements to use throughout the brand.

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My favorite part of this project, was creating the style guide. The guide consists of 30 pages of guidelines and examples of how to use the logo, typography and overall revised brand. It also features photography from the original Doughnut Vault location. The final guide was printed as an 8" by 8" full color booklet and displays the new Doughnut Vault brand in all its glory.

To see samples of the final brand identity, click here