Creative Process Study 17

02.10.2011 / Project: Boulder Soup Works

Gary Wiese

Boulder Soup Works (BSW) is a small-batch soup producer from Colorado. They were founded on the idea that great soup, just the way our moms and grandmothers made it, should be accessible. Most other soups are sold in aluminum cans and are high in preservatives, fat, sodium, and other unhealthy ingredients. Additionally, the production process of these soups robs the ingredients of nearly all of their nutritional value. BSW soups are handcrafted and start with the freshest, organic ingredients and cooked so carefully that they’re naturally gluten-free.

BSW created a truly differentiated soup product for the chilled-foods aisle targeted at an educated consumer who values what they eat and will spend-up when purchasing locally produced food. Being a locally made soup, BSW also wanted to keep some of the fun uniqueness of Boulder in the packaging.

BSW’s Brand Personality:
Simple, Honest, Passionate, Fun, Conscientious, and Revered


The logo was a starting place for the development of materials for the brand. Some designers like to show the whole package together (logo, packaging, stationery, etc.) but sometimes I feel it’s good to get the client to focus on the details one at a time. Having said that, I feel you have to be able to help the client feel assured about how that logo will influence the rest of the packaging.

After showing the first round, BSW really like the idea of using a wooden spoon with the ‘B’ wrapped around it—they liked its energy and the idea that it showed the soup’s handcrafted nature. They wanted to see options with the ‘S’ as an icon because the product is more about soup than Boulder. Additionally, some executional direction on the first round ‘B’ was that it felt a little too hand-drawn and clunky, and BSW wanted it to feel more upscale.


The final logo and palate were chosen because they represented a mix of premium (logo), organic, and fun (typography). They also landed on the tagline ‘Soup to live by,’ which represents perfectly how their consumer thinks about fresh ingredients.

The goal for the illustrations was to represent the main ingredients by using simple raw ingredients and give a nod to the process and kinetic way the soup is produced.

I wanted to subtly depict an apron in the packaging because I like that it embodies the spirit of a home cooked meal. The stylized shape was used to differentiate each flavor.

One of the main goals, from BSW’s perspective, was to not cover up the soup with graphics—they really wanted to soup and its ingredients to speak for it self.

Contact Gary Wiese:

Twitter: @phonylawn

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5 comments, please join in the discussion

  1. 02.11.2011

    This is beautiful. I love the colors, the process, etc. And I reallllllly like how you used an apron to come up with the shape! 🙂

  2. Veena

    A great learning!

  3. 02.17.2011

    fantastic – I have not checked the site in a while, I love seeing other designers work after I had mine there.

  4. Kathryn Russell

    This is really well done. Bravo, Gary. I especially liked the tag and packaging copy. Who wrote that?

  5. 04.19.2011

    This was a really fun article to read. It had a lot of great information! Thank you.