Stoneham Springs

No more cakes and ale?

Need a mobile bar for your festival? Stoneham Springs provides a structure, experienced staff and great drinks made of wild and natural ingredients.

Friendly and close to their customers, this family business from Lewes develops recipes and take active part in festivals. Word of mouth and website are the primary contact mode to bring business so they need a platform that can help users to find details about their bars, impress by their products and keep in touch with their customers.

Struggling to define their identity, no real consistency is reflected through the different material, sign, print and online media presence. In this case, developing a quality website they can maintain and build their branding and voice around will be the base for future growth. So how do we start?

The first decision is to provide a content management system to allow the admin to update the content. We decide to use Drupal for its flexibility. As a well supported system, it's easy for any future developer to take over the project.

This is the tricky part : their main target are business and event organisers. With their personal and friendly approach, Stoneham Springs are used to talk to customers, so it requires a few adjustments to set the objectives and the tone. Early on, we also decide to cut and rework on the content, keeping only what's necessary for event organisers, with visuals of the bars and cocktails, technical specs, features.

Stoneham Springs being the name of a place, it seems like a good idea to associate it to an organic / natural visual to convey what the product is about.

After multiple experiment, we'll decide to go back to using the inspiration from the previous logo : the elderflower symbol, as it is the first ingredients used in their cordial.

I want to style to use an organic style with a touch of elegance, fun, friendly and image driven. I'll also use slightly vintage elements, textures and image filters, in order to evoke remind the authentic technique people used to produce wild elderflower drinks.

Thirsty Rough is a script typeface with vintage character brought by its texture. It's warm, has a friendly vibe to it and feels authentic. Bebas Neue for titles is a more structured and bold typeface but without losing the vintage aspect.

The body font should be readable above all and renders perfectly on every screen as much as possible. Google fonts provides only a few typefaces that gathers all these requirements. On top of this, PT Serif contrasts well with the straight Bebas Neue and add something quirky to the mix.

Landscape pictures, cocktails and ingredients close-up are what I think would convey a natural visual vocabulary. The budget for photography is a problem though, as well as finding the best pictures from events already gone. It 's a real hunt on free images website, stock photography and gathering photos from festival attendants.

However, it's worth it, because the site uses quality and relevant images of cocktails and bars, allowing potential partners to have an idea of what the company can offer in real context. Stoneham Springs, motivated by the great imagery selection, are now determined to invest in quality imagery for the future. It's a win-win situation!

Only part of the website where Stoneham Springs can talk directly to their customers, the blog provides recipes around Elderflower and other natural products used in cocktails. It also displays articles about the past events with pictures, detailed story of what happened and quote from event organisers.

Stoneham Springs is relatively free of limitations in terms of design and development. It's great and makes sense to review the needs of the user instead of having a list of features to implement. By massively reducing the content from the previous website, we made every sentence, title, keyword and image serve the purpose of the target.

As for today, it still needs improvements, especially for SEO as well as regular articles and recipes on the blog.

As a retrospective, this project was handled with very little communicaton between us and the client, which is always a risk when the design is presented. Fortunately, everything went seemlessly. Being a side project, we made everything clear for another development company to handle the project in case it's needed.