The Community Farm Alliance is composed of a diverse range of Kentuckians united by their belief in the right to agency in the public policies that shape our economy – our culture – and their abiding conviction in the farm as a foundation for growth. They function through community organizing, leadership development, and strategic alliances across organizations.
Their rebrand is our newest full brand identity to hit the public, and the first in our pro bono initiative.
As Bullhorn’s Creative Director, Adam Kuhn spearheaded this project and led its development. I sat down with him at Production Island, to get a closer look at his process.
What hooked you about the Community Farm Alliance?
Their view of the world. The world they wanted to create. It aligned well with the world I want to live in. More cooperation, more of a balance between city folks and farmers.
I can always get behind people who care too much.
What role did collaboration have in this project?
Collaboration was huge, just listening was even bigger. We (at Bullhorn) were ignorant of many of the problems and hurdles CFA faces. We needed to understand their motives – their hopes for the group – long before we could ever make them anything.
Just making “neat” stuff won’t solve anyone’s problems. It takes an ability to listen, to have empathy.
In your own words, describe a dynamic identity.
It can wear many hats. That flexibility makes it feel alive, more human than just a handful of pixels.
Does CFA fit this description?
Oh yeah. Close your eyes and think of a farm. Do you think of corn and tomatoes? Do you think of cows, or a vineyard? It’s just a difficult world to define. Farm.
It’s easy to use clichés, but really difficult to represent something that means many different things to many different people. We wanted to create something real, to add value to the conversation about food and where it comes from and why you should care and what it means to us.
Where did you draw your inspiration from for this mark and its extensions?
I’ve always been drawn to heirlooms. Items you cherish enough to pass on to the next generation. We have very few things in our lives that fit that definition.
The idea of a quilt was powerful. A collection of different pieces, old stories, past knowledge – all brought together to make something beautiful yet functional. We were really drawn to those patterns and geometric shapes. Then common shapes started appearing everywhere. The vertical rows of crops, circular hay bales, barn squares.
How do you envision the CFA mark changing?
We wanted to make a visual heirloom. Something that stands the test of time. With all the letter and color combinations we designed, there are 3000 unique versions of the CFA logo. We needed to give the CFA the ability to effectively use their new visual identity on a formal press release, then on a bumper sticker, then on a casual tee shirt. That flexibility is what they needed because they do so many different things, and they are composed of so many different kinds of people.
How do you envision the CFA mark in the real world?
I see it becoming a badge of honor.
Do you see it being a part of your own life now?
Every time I’m out with the CFA bag, people approach me and ask where I got it. It’s a conversation starter. And once that conversation gets going, I won’t stop talking about their work. I’m a firm believer in it. I definitely drank the Kool-Aid.
Learn more about CFA on their website. Follow them on Twitter. Like them on Facebook.