UT Agriculture Food Brand


Project Background

In 2016, I was approached to design a brand for a line of environmentally safe coffees, sourced by a University of Tennessee Agriculture graduate. This initial request quickly evolved into envisioning an overarching Brand for all UTIA products as well as for individual product lines such as coffee, cheese and ice cream. I recruited 3 seniors: Kari Cottrell, Erik Vass, Wilder Smith to join my team.

Branding + Naming

Our Strategic Brand Plan including the name, mission, vision, unique value proposition (UVP), position and personality of the brand. We began by interviewing faculty; reviewing coffee market analysis trends, reading about the Institute’s history and doing a competitive analysis. Over the semester, the solutions became clear to the team. Shown here are the three directions we presented.



  • Direction 1: Cream and the Crop
    The first was Cream and the Crop. Tennessee is known as the Volunteer state. The purpose of the name Cream and Crop is two-fold: 1) the mission of the College of Agriculture is always improve the quality of crops and farming in the state; 2) it is a nod to the idea that all the profits go back to help graduate top-notch students and life-long learners.

  • A second version for the Cream and the Crop direction.

  • Direction 2: Barking Belly
    For our second direction, Barking Belly, we suggested a louder personality. UT’s mascot is a hound dog. The pun hit upon being hungry for something good to eat or drink, but also for a great education. On our coffee bags, the tagline Rise, Shine, Repeat was an ode to coffee but also our student’s motivation.

  • Coffee Bags
    On our coffee bags, the tagline Rise, Shine, Repeat was an ode to coffee but also our student's motivation. Additionally, the names of the coffee (Bluetick Blend), ice cream (Coldnose Vanilla) and cheese (Waggin’ Tail Cheddar ) fit our theme.

  • The names of the coffee (Bluetick Blend), ice cream (Coldnose Vanilla), and cheese (Waggin’ Tail Cheddar ) fit our theme.

  • A second version for the Barking Belly direction.

  • Direction 3: Smokey Farms
    For our third direction, Smokey Farms, we wanted to to communicate UT's stature as a Land Grant Institution that deeply values its relationship with state farmers. UT's hound dog is named Smokey, so with Smokey Farms, we developed a “crest” honoring the quality of food and education that the University has provided the state for over a century. Here, the illustration style for Smokey is more refined. He seems like he is on point and has something important to accomplish.

  • Tablecloths
    Tablecloths for "gameday" sales and tailgate parties.

  • Tshirts and Grocery Bags
    "Sweeter at the top" creamery t-shirt makes a play at the famous "Rocky Top" song and our National Football Championship.

  • Bumper Stickers

  • Posters for the inside of the Coffee Shop, Creamery, and Vol store.