SPE Certified: Bringing the healthy eating craze to a menu near you

Calorie counts, no more trans fats, a possible ban on sodas…the health revolution is in high gear, but dining out still challenges a healthy lifestyle. Until now! SPE Certified is a new third-party certification program that helps diners find restaurant dishes that are both healthy and delicious. SPE Certified aims to do for dining what LEED has done for architecture. A tall order, in need of a compelling brand. www.specertified.com

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A Logo is Born

When it comes to branding, we believe in Unify, Simplify, Ampify: simple message, iconic visuals, one voice. For the mark of SPE, we looked at tons of certification and food-inspired logos, and found that highlighting the acronym “SPE”, which stands for Sanitas Per Escam (or Health Through Food), would keep consumers thinking “SPE”. We rendered the name in a loopy, singular line, suggesting a seedling growing within. Flame-red gives the identity some pop, and a voila, a brand is born. You can even find the mark in upcoming versions of the Zagat guides, on windows of SPE Certified restaurants, and on menus around town.

Delicious Photography 

It's impossible to talk about delicious food without seeing food. But since SPE doesn’t limit itself by cuisine, we knew the imagery had to be more universal than plated dishes. We went back to the basics with high-impact macro shots of raw ingredients...hundreds of blueberries, dozens of peppers, all forming their own pattern and palette. We had some fun and rendered the logo out of these ingredients and shot a video to drive the point home: SPE is about good food and deliciousness. It must have worked, SPE had 10 restaurants signed on to become “SPE Certified” within the first 30 days.

Graphics to Tell a Story

With information about health and nutrition, it's easy for that eyes-glazed-over look to happen. We had to make the experience of learning about healthy dining more enjoyable, and built this into the icons and graphics of the brand identity. The core brand pattern is made up of words symbolizing the movement and SPE’s philosophy—taste, nutrition, sustainability, change. We also created a system of iconography to represent the food groups that SPE focuses on, and super simple infographics visualize the nutrition data, instead of hiding it in obtuse charts and serving size trickery.

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Carbone Smolan Agency combines content, technology, and art to create brand strategy and design systems for the physical and digital worlds

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