Behind the Scenes: The Mary and Sara Brand

Mary and Sara are talented and successful chefs  and business owners, having had their own catering company, produced a bunch of recipe books with chronicle books, AND had a successful partnership with a nutrient company called Genesis Pure.

This wonderful partnership couldn’t have been made possible without the connection from my colleague Travis Brady. Travis and I developed the Light Up Your Brand Workshop for small business owners looking to start off on the best foot possible. Travis brought in Mary and Sara and worked with them in the first month on developing their unique brand point of view. She taught them about the importance of branding and how to work with a designer to get the work you want. From there, she introduced them to me and we all met in person to discuss what they had worked on together.

Mary and Sara both love being moms, and they really love providing healthy tasty meals that don’t take hours away from their precious family time. they are also passionate about being healthy and Helping people balance their diet so they can be their best self.

This project was especially exciting because Mary and Sara already were authentic people, and we had no problem infusing that authentic energy into a brand.

The Mood Board

We started with a pinterest exercise. The sisters pinned images that spoke to the feeling they wanted to create with their brand. Naturally they picked a lot of photos of vibrant foods and powerful candid family shots.


Mary and Sara pinterest board


I continued on my own explorations and research of their competitors, creating a brand filter that helped us move in the right direction.


Mary and Sara : my pinterest board


Mary and Sara brand filter by Lorettamay Design

The mood board pulled it all together and started to define photography styling.

Bright and Airy Citrus mood board for Mary and Sara designed by LorettaMay Design


The Logo


From there I began my logo explorations. Because the company is both their names, we decided to keep it personal by focusing on a script font.

I tried many different types of script rendering including water color, pen nib calligraphy, and sumi ink. I took the best Ideas and digitized them so that Mary and Sara could see the potential of the direction better.

Competitor research and sketches for Mary and Sara LogoMary and Sara logo explorations

Ultimately the one that won was my favorite. What is really nice about this logo is that though it is hand lettered type, I chose to share some of the letters so that they had some uniqueness but a lot of the same. We found it mirrors the twin sister aspects of their relationship beautifully.

Mary and Sara logo explained


The color palette was hard to pin point. Mary and Sara loved color so much that they found it difficult to decide.
Mary and Sara original palette

Mary and Sara color explorations

After a color exploration, we realized that the logo looked best and would be most versatile in two greens. We still loved the citrus colors, so we decided to keep them in the palette, but not on the logo.


Mary and Sara final palette


What made this project so fun was that Mary and Sara were passionate about launching their business on the right foot. They allowed me to use all my skills and knowledge to set them up for success.



Photography Styling

Because Mary and Sara wanted to share their recipes with the world on their blog, they needed to learn how to take better photos. They considered themselves pretty low-tech individuals, so I spent one sunny saturday in their gorgeous house in Marin County teaching them simple tips and tools to take better photos.

A big piece of food styling is the surface that you choose to photograph on. We knew that white washed wood was a big part of the brand style, so with the help of Jeremy, we built them four different wooden panel backgrounds. One white, one spring green, and one natural. The fourth was a burlap covered board. (You can see the white panel board below)

Mary and Sara practicing food styling

I’m incredibly proud of these ladies. They went from taking dark and dim “snapshot” photos to taking quality drool-worthy photos of their food in one afternoon. Here are some of their shots (before and after lessons)

mary and sara food photography before lessons


Mary and Sara post photography lessons


For phase two of this project, we plan to continue shooting the brand photography with a professional photographer and build out a website that can house their recipes. I’m excited to continue on with these ladies as they are a treat to work with. I’ll be sure to share progress when it happens.

Check out the full project

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