Lucks Food Decorating Co
A century-old company, Lucks is a manufacturer and distributor of edible food decorations. All those grad cakes that began to feature edible photos adhered to cake for cutting and eating in a glaze of sugared glory a few decades back? Yeah, that was Lucks.
We provided designs and custom products for the likes of Dairy Queen, Target, Walmart, Fred Meyer, Tim Horton's, Krispy Kreme, and Food Network affiliates.
This case study provides an overview of my time with the Lucks brand which saw me touching everything from marketing to illustrative cake designs, and most everything in between. For a more detailed look into my step-by-step design process, have a look at this project. Let's take a look at some of the highlights!
The overarching challenge was to take a number of visually jumbled components- print pieces, product photography, and digital assets- and bring them together under one cohesive brand look. The only thing they initially shared was the logo and even that was in differing sizes and placements.
The desire to expand the company's web and social presence through its existing site, as well as develop email and social campaigns was at the top of the list.
The photography needed shaping up- unifying angles, removing blown out imagery and generic drop shadows, adding in backdrops and table environments to compliment and contrast, introducing soft focus photography, and closer shots at times to show off product detail and sell the edibility of the dessert items.
Below, you'll find that applying a newly developed style guide provided the framework for a bright, fun company brand which incorporated its products, supporting and enhancing them, using the new photography look I introduced, in projects that helped expand the Lucks web presence, resulting in positive customer feedback via comments and sales.
We collaborated with Cake Central, the world's largest cake community, to promote a carnival-themed contest using newly released carnival-themed edible designs. In fulfilling the marketing plan, I designed a skin featured on our company site and on the Cake Central site simultaneously.
Static and animated banners and ads were created for various baking sites, and social media posts for Facebook and Instagram were designed and shared consistently to keep interest going and growing. The accompanying copywriting and links led the user to our site to shop the new collection.
Digital Ads and Banners
At Lucks, we researched trends to incorporate into up and coming products and to share with our buyers in order to allow them to do the same. We perused fashion and home decor for colors and patterns, and identified popular icons such as the owl and fox. I regularly designed trend board layouts to share in presentations as well as produced trend reports for further in-depth study.
LOOKBOOKS & Idea Books
Lucks lookbooks and idea books really took on a more stylized look in my time there with covers designed with a magazine in mind. Photography became lighter and brighter with more of a focal point on the showcase of our products used in fun and creative bakery designs. The quality of the photography improved immensely due to my presentation of what we could improve and HOW to go about it step-by-step. We also put an emphasis on offering trend highlights along with corresponding collections, and encouraging engagement through social media callouts.
In creating the look and feel of the books, I designed multiple potential concepts with a variety of design elements such as headers, body copy, callouts, calls to action, tip tools, etc. Templates were created, pagination determined, product imagery gathered, and elements designed, among many other tasks. I start with a notebook and a Sharpie, brainstorming with lists of necessary components, to-dos, possible shapes and layouts, and then expand them in larger sketched thumbnails for review and further digital exploration.
A Sharpie and notebook are
my go-to tools when beginning most any
project, including all
the projects viewed here
Partial Concepting Example
Idea book Spreads
Lucks Edible Image® decorations feature a style for most every occasion, graduations, birthdays, weddings, showers, the holidays, you name it. Here are some of the seasonal collections I developed through illustration with a focus on color as the great unifier in addition to the illustration style.
Land of the free where supermarket cakes display edible print art on the regular
Lucks Dec-Ons® Sugar and Icing Decorations are small compacted sugar forms offered in many a theme. I designed a penguin set for the holidays seen here featured on desserts including a delectable donut or three.
Lucks regularly advertised in baking industry publications. I designed a new advertorial style look to display our trend information alongside corresponding collections featuring shoppable ideas and products. Note the index card nod to baking card recipes of times past!
The Lucks site allowed me to provide design for many of the pages and components. Their customer and product management software were tied to the existing framework, so I worked within it to modernize its look as much as possible through color palettes and design elements that coordinated with other print and digital materials. I reworked badges, buttons, cards, icons, modals, navigation, text fields, tool tips, and page flows.
Here's a peek into my icon exploration mid-process, after sketching and before culling the lot for further review and feedback. Keeping in mind the current trends on flat versus shiny, minimal versus max, etc., marketing's desire was to create bakery-shaped social media icons.
Here's one of the modals that helped in keeping our latest company campaigns moving along. Note the inclusion of the cute, edible pencil. Product on point!
Oklahoma State SUGAR ART SHOW
Oklahoma State SUGAR ART SHOW
Lucks participated in industry trade shows for which I created signage and accompanying graphics including banners, backdrops, floor graphics, and table top displays. One of my favorite projects was illustrating and hand constructing these custom character hangers for Kerry Vincent, a Food Network Challenge judge and master sugar artist, once called the "Simon Cowell of cake." As the founder of the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, she requested hangers that each held an apron for a winning participant. Kerry's likeness can be seen below, the first in the line of aprons on the rack. They were a hit and requested for multiple shows.
Lucks was in need of a fun identity overhaul to reflect its trendier products. Color and playful use of one of their most iconic items was just the right recipe! The idea was that each employee could personalize their card by selecting a color from the custom palette and their favorite Dec-Ons® Sugar Decoration to express themselves, providing an additional talking point when offering a card to others.
I selected a range of typefaces evoking different moods to collectively define a cohesive look and feel when incorporated into design projects and social posts.