HOOD FAMOUS X ME
Flexing: Creative Concepting + Art Direction + Design + Strategy + Production
Kicking it with
Hood Famous is a Filipino-owned business in the Greater Seattle Area. They specialize in traditional Filipino and Asian-Pacific flavored desserts. They prioritize community-building, sustainability, and education around Filipino food history and culture. Being a small business, they found themselves at a very fortunate spot with the ability to expand.
With their sights set on building a second location (a café and bar!) in the Chinatown-International District of Seattle, they needed more creative manpower. And this is how my relationship with Hood Famous began as a designer. I helped elevate their brand with new packaging, merchandise, menus, marketing campaigns, and photography. I was so invested in seeing the business grow and succeed, so I was more than happy to be part of their journey.
I remember when I first walked into the bakeshop around a busy corner of Ballard, Seattle, Washington. It was definitely a hidden gem. Customers that would enter the shop were primarily gen Z or millennials and the occasional tito and/or tita (uncle and auntine in Tagalog) visits. A lot of customers were foodies, socially-aware, and adventurous. The bakeshop had widespread community support and an established online presence. The owners were very adamant to make sure that their customers felt welcomed and part of the family whenever they would pay them a visit.
Hood Famous is like one of the homies. They're laid back, real, and shamelessly themselves. They bring a breath of fresh air to Seattle because of the lack of Filipino businesses within the area. They draw a lot of inspiration from their Filipino roots. Many of their patterns and designs derive from traditional textiles belonging to different regions of the Philippines. They even pulled their color palette for their café and bar from Palawan, a province of the Philippines. They specifically pulled out the rich earthy greens and sea colored blues and seamlessly incorporated them into the space. It was a really nice mix, especially with the different shades of browns. It gave the space a sense of balance and groundedness, which is integrated into their brand.
WITH KNOWING THEIR BRAND AND CONSUMER MORE CLOSELY, EVERYTHING JUST FELL INTO PLACE.
Learning about their brand and consumer was a piece of cake because a lot of my values align with theirs and I fall into their target audience. I felt really at home with working with them.
Not going to lie, I was the most excited to design this packaging because I love coffee. I mean who doesn't? For this design, I leveraged the interior of the new location as inspiration for the packaging. I used similar patterns from the café walls and colors they used for inspiration. Additionally, I used realistic imagery to depict different regions of Asia because they imported beans from different Asian countries. Some of the countries that were highlighted were the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
Polvoron is a Filipino sweet treat that leaves people wanting more. To make sure that our consumer savors and appreciates each polvoron, we individually packaged them with purple paper. I decided to go with a clear case to highlight that ube purple color as well to entice newly-introduced customers. For the sticker, I used a repetitive traditional Malong (a traditional Filipino rectangular or tube-like wraparound skirt) pattern. Additionally, to really highlight the product, I treated the name of the product with a large, capitalized font to make sure the customer doesn't miss it.
These marshmallows are hella gourmet, so I definitely had to come up with something that had a bit more of a pizazz. I decided to go with this house-like structure because it would perfectly fit the marshmallows when stacked on top of one another. It comfortably fits eight marshmallows, which is what they were originally selling. Additionally, the little window gives the customer a great view of what the goods looks like and be more tempted to buy this delicious snack. The sticker that was designed for it is similar to the polvoron to keep packaging consistent.
At the time, dad hats were on trend for our demographic. I thought it would be a good move if we moved forward with producing and selling them. For this design, I wanted to keep it clean and simple for versatility. I wanted to create something that consumers would feel comfortable to wear in any context. To achieve this, I used the logo as the front portion of the hat and added a nice little touch in back with the Filipino stars. To ensure quality, the hat details were embroidered as well.
To liven up Hood Famous' social profile, I helped art direct and shoot some product photography.
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By being a part of such a small but mighty team of people has helped me further figure out where I want to invest more of my energy. I loved working with a small business like Hood Famous because, besides the team being great, it combined my love for my culture, coffee, and design. By being able to touch multiple projects, I was able to really practice and hone my design chops and made me get creative in different ways.
Not only did I learn a lot from a creative and design standpoint, I gained insight about what it's like running a small business and what it's like building a new space. I watched and learned how many people the process involved; how intentional the owners were with using different materials and objects; how long everything would take to complete; and more. I enjoyed my time with Hood Famous so much, that I actually ended up taking a part-time barista position with them after my internship!
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