There's nothing our team loves more than working with organizations who have a unique concept and an open mind. A unique concept would be an understatement for our friends at Cornelius based, Barvecue. If you aren't familiar they are a company producing amazing barbecue with a slight twist. Their barbecue is plant based. That's right, no meat. Part curious and part skeptical I visited their new facility to meet Lee and Jeni Cooper. Read about the Coopers here.
When I sat with them to discuss the vision for apparel and "swag" they had a couple of concept ideas, but needed help with design and product selection. Due to the amount of research and artwork required many companies would not be excited about a project like this. We see it as an opportunity to set our clients up for success and showcase the design talents of our art team.
After out art team developed 6 or 7 concepts the Coopers created a social media poll to gauge interest and narrow down selections. Since we developed the artwork we were able to provide them with images ready for Instagram and Facebook. We ended up with 3 shirt concepts and one cap option.
Our first goal was to find a basic tee that would work for staff and resale. We were matching their original shirt design which is clean and easy to identify. The logo on left chest with icon print on the sleeve makes the shirt a classic. Their company is modern and trendy so we opted for Bella + Canvas' 3413c Unisex Triblend T in classic black instead of a standard cotton T. If you've never worn a triblend shirt before it's like wearing a cloud. They're so light and soft you'll almost forget you're wearing a shirt at all.
The second project was to find a 3/4 sleeve raglan shirt that was soft, comfortable and would work for both men and ladies. Raglan shirts (also known as baseball tees) are in style so we knew we could knock it out of the park. Lee and Jeni wanted to incorporate the word "Love" using their trademarked "V" icon from their logo. We added a tonal background pattern to add a little pop to the front. Instead of using the Barvecue logo on the back we decided to do a new design including the logo but also incorporating additional elements to fill the space. We chose the 6051 Triblend Raglan 3/4 Sleeve by Next Level which is a winner. We've used this shirt many times and it's always a great piece.
The final design was to incorporate "Pig Out" prominently on the front of the shirt. Since their company makes awesome plant based barbecue we thought the saying was really clever. We wanted to create a design that didn't stray too far away from their brand or message so we used the 3413c Triblend Unisex T again in black heather which appears as a dark grey.
After selecting designs and styles the last order of business was to select imprint size and colors for their shirts. For this, Lee, Jeni and their daughter visited our production facility to look view pantone colors, see their shirts being printed and shoot a little video for social media. We custom mixed their screen printing ink colors to match their brand guidelines and could not be happier with the way their project turned out. One of the best parts of working with Barveque is that they allowed us to put our spin on their concepts. With our help Barvecue now has 3 custom designs that appeal to a wide audience. To stay up to speed with Barvecue check them out on Instagram and Facebook.
I'm sure you're wondering if we got to try Barvecue and if it was good. Lee and Jeni sent me home with two "to-go" boxes which include barbecue, two buns, sauce and slaw. As a barbecue enthusiast I've spent many days and nights beside the smoker. I know good barbecue but anything plant based is outside my wheelhouse so I called in the expert. My sister Madalyn (the BrandSpeed bookkeeper extraordinaire) has been vegetarian for nearly 12 years. I knew if anyone would be able to judge it would be her.
Here's what she had to say:
" It tasted so much like the real deal I thought my husband and brother had teamed up to play a joke on me. The taste, the smell, the texture - everything was dead on! Smoky, juicy, and delicious bbq! I cannot wait to get more ASAP."
Here's my bottom line about Barvecue. It looks, feels and tastes exactly like regular pulled pork. I have no idea how they do it but it's right on. The Coopers have big plans for the expansion of their brand and after my taste test I wouldn't be surprised to see it on a plate near any of us soon.
At BrandSpeed we are experts in custom branded apparel and promotional products. We work with entrepreneurs, marketing managers, communication directors and others who need apparel or promotional products produced quickly and efficiently. If you have a project and would like our assistance please send us an inquiry here or call our office at 704.664.8337.
*Photos Courtesy of Barvecue, Inc., Jeni Cooper and BrandSpeed summer intern photographer extraordinaire Alexis H.