Business cards make a critical first impression for in-person meetings. Designing one for the natural and organic grocer, Native Sun, took on even more importance as it needed to represent the natural food store’s values. Designer Heather Raines ate up the challenge.
In-house designer Heather Raines has a style that’s refreshingly pure and strikingly clean. It’s a style that pairs well with her employer, the premier all-natural and organic grocer in Jacksonville, Florida, Native Sun.
Determined to make healthy living easy, delicious, and affordable, Native Sun sources the finest organic produce, meats, and dairy products. These sourcing trips call for business cards to exchange, and typical business cards or materials wouldn’t be on-brand for Native Sun.
Searching for Solutions
“We were looking for something that was a little different to tell our story,” says Raines. Initially, Native Sun painstakingly printed its cards on seed paper, “the kind you can actually plant, water, and grow into flowers” Raines recalled. Well-intentioned, the program proved difficult to sustain because of the seed paper’s limitations.
When Raines went back to the drawing board, the brief hadn’t changed. “We wanted something that was unique and celebrated the store’s 100% natural food selection.” At the same time, she recalls that, “We also wanted to represent all the different areas of the store—from our grab-and-go deli to our gluten-free bakery and our juice bar.”
Communicating it all on a business card was daunting. “Making it beautiful and not overwhelming wasn’t easy.”
Raines found inspiration in an in-store tagging system she had created to identify products. “I took a closer look and realized that the illustrations were simple and iconic and could be woven into a pattern that was fresh, fun, and totally us.” That was the spark.
“Honestly, I didn’t even mock it up at first. We just talked about the concept,” Raines admits. The idea was so strong that the team at Native Sun immediately embraced it and Raines began iterating on patterns.
To underscore the values held by Native Sun, Raines selected a kraft paper stock for its natural, unprocessed feel. This opened up a new set of challenges: printing white ink on craft paper takes special attention to detail. “I never dreamed it would be a problem,” she remembers.
“At the time, in 2016, I guess it was pretty innovative. Designers weren’t really using a lot of kraft paper with white, and neither were printers.” Some online searching delivered the solution through Smartpress. “We were able to print the cards without compromising the look or the feel,” she said. “In the end, the cards turned out to be as groundbreaking as our stores.”