It's been a lot of fun starting up a small business together, and we can honestly say that besides making snow cones and sharing them with our wonderful customers, developing the Sweet Ice brand has been one of our favorite parts. Julie (of Jubilee Creative) is our graphic designer, and she's collaborated with Andrea Manica (our illustrator-friend from Toronto), to create something that we just think is so great, and such a true reflection of how we view Sweet Ice.
We asked Julie and Andrea a few questions about the work they do and the time they've spent with us and the Sweet Ice brand. Here's a bit of their perspective:
What sparked your interest in design? Well, that probably goes all the way back to Grade 7. One of our larger art projects for the year was something called a “Christmas Book”. Basically, using old Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and magazines, we had to layout 20 pages of cheesy Christmas goodness – recipes, carols, gift lists, awkward photos with Santa, you name it. I distinctly remember sitting at my dinning room table, assembling my “family memories” page. My mom looked over my shoulder, and remarked on how cleverly I used different pieces of Christmas cards to frame our family photos. Mom, who didn't even know how to turn on a computer back then, said “It would be great if you could make a career out of doing this some day”. And like usual, Mom was right. Every day, I’m cutting and pasting, bringing elements from different places together to craft something new and beautiful. Ironically enough, I can't cut straight with a scissor to save my life.
Two years ago, I walked past one of my logos on a sign on Ottawa Street (Little Bird). It was my small part in something that is tangibly contributing to the city's landscape. I've been chasing that feeling ever since! This year, I had the chance to work with more Hamilton-based brands. I love identifying with these passionate, driven, local people. And the variety! In what other place could I work on a music conservatory logo one day, and a Canadian political policy journal the next? On more basic level, I love designing wedding materials, mainly because I get to make pretty things.
Where do you find inspiration? Everywhere! That's a cop-out, but its true. Blogs, books, magazines, movies, art, my cat.
Lindsay and Meg are infectious in the best possible way - their excitement made me excited! Their vision was well-defined in their heads, so the challenge was visually bringing it to life. It was so rewarding to see it all take shape. Plus, they bought me coffee and cookies. Isn't the designer suppose to treat the client?
How would you describe the Sweet Ice branding? I have a hard time summarizing it better than Chris Farias did when we first revealed the brand publicly: "[It's] Dick and Jane meets girl guides meets 1960 Folk Music Poster Art". If I could add to that, I would say it's sweet, authentic, a tad retro, and just a little unexpected - which is Sweet Ice in a nutshell!
How did it work to collaborate with another artist on this project? It was wonderful! I wish I could do it more often, to be honest. Most of the time, people assume all creative types can do exactly the same thing. But as much as I'd like to be a jack of all trades, I know my specialties. For that reason, I relish in the opportunity to collaborate with another artist, because they bring their own unique set of skills to the project.
Have you had a snow cone? What kind?! Oh man! Let me count down the list. I've tried: Raspberry Lemon, Sweet Espresso, Peaches & Honey, and Gingerbread. I'm a little upset I haven't had a chance to try the Apple Jack - but there will be plenty of time for that in 2012.
Thanks so much Julie! You are an absolute dream to work with, and we give you the highest recommendation everywhere we go. Every time we get an email from you, it totally makes our day. You're always sending over 'design goodies', and it's so neat to see that you're as excited by this branding project as we are! We're honored by your excitement and enthusiasm, and can't wait to work on future projects with you!
What kinds of projects have you worked on? I started out making flyers for friends who put on house shows back in Kitchener, and since then have made posters for my church, for concerts of friends, the zine library school, and even pop!Montreal. I've been creating my own zines and crafts to sell at fairs and expos. My favorite projects are ones I can do which will bring acclaim to people I love.
Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in my friends!! And nature, beautiful things, joyful & free spirited ideas, food, animals and girls.
What do you enjoy about designing for Sweet Ice? Well, I get to draw food. And the girls are awesome! Not to mention - their snow cones taste AMAZING. I love supporting small businesses run by people who have so much desire to do well! For themselves and their community!
How would you describe the Sweet Ice branding? It's got an old-timey yet charming feel and is totally suited to the girls who run the show.
Have you had a Sweet Ice snow cone? What kind?! Oh man, I've tried the Apple Cider snow cone. It tasted like apple pie and I want MORE! I've also tried some of the other flavors that my friends have ordered. I really want to come back to Hamilton strictly so I can have more cones.
What are some future dreams and goals for you and your involvement in the arts? I don't tell many people this, but if I ever worked for Martha Stewart Living magazine, that would pretty much be my dream. Can you imagine if I met Martha? I'd faint!
From Linds & Meg: Andrea, you are so sweet and SO talented! We're really thankful that we can use your amazing abilities to make Sweet Ice the CUTEST EVER! Every time you send illustrations to us, we just squeal at our computers because they're so dang awesome. We're so excited to send you more requests, so we can see more of your great illustrations. Thank you for everything you've done so far - we can't wait to see how Sweet Ice can partner with you even more in the future!