Sugar & Stamp is a brand of custom-designed cookie boxes, baked in small batches and delivered to their recipients. It's a project I drafted and built from scratch in order to explore how to connect people over shared moments of delicious enjoyment. As a solopreneur, my hands were in every aspect of the business—from branding to project management, sourcing to customer support, product development to fulfillment. Not to mention recipe development, baking, and illustration. It was a test of resourcefulness, drive, and versatility; a huge challenge, to be sure, but immensely rewarding both professionally and personally.
Much like the cookie boxes themselves, I developed Sugar & Stamp from scratch — brand and all. Its visual identity represents exquisite handcraft with a friendly, neighborhood bakeshop-like vibe.
Assorted brand collateral
Informational postcards, business cards, stickers, packaging, and stamp.
Personalized cookie boxes
Examples of S&S's custom and template cookie box options.
What's more exciting than cookies?! These were lovingly baked from scratch from recipes I developed myself, immediately heat-sealed to retain freshness, and carefully packaged to protect the goods during shipping. Pictured are white chocolate miso, coffee cocoa sable, and the classic salted chocolate chip.
In addition to the core product of custom cookie boxes, I tested and developed other product ideas around the idea of sharing creative, delicious moments. Some of these ideas included illustrated recipe prints, bake-your-own cookie kits, painted enamel mugs, and custom cookie cutters.
The Crumb is a weekly newsletter capturing and digesting news from across the food industry. A product I developed as creative strategist at Harvest Collaborative, it's been one of my biggest achievements at the company to own this project, craft its design, and develop its content and voice.
Creating each Crumb issue involves thorough research, curation, and interpretation. I then write the summaries, extracting valuable business insights when applicable. To make things more fun (rather than some dry, industry-standard newsletters available elsewhere), I whip up an accompanying illustration drawn from each week's content. I then blast an email version out to subscribers, post across the company's social media, and copy to the company's website.
Owning this project has taken plenty of diligence, but in exchange, I've gotten to keep up with movements in the food industry and hone my written and visual content creation skills.
I had the immense pleasure of writing and illustrating an original article for Food52, highlighting one of the most nostalgic flavor memories from my childhood: a grilled sandwich, or toastie, filled with sweet, red adzuki bean paste. The accompanying illustrations are a playful take on the simple magic of these treats I enjoyed as a kid.
As Food52 strives to broaden the diversity of the content offered on its site, I was thrilled to represent the point of view of a second-generation Taiwanese-American finding her own path.
The Wandering Goose is a quaint little restaurant, tucked away in a corner of the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. For such an unassuming place, they attract a large and loyal following of patrons, thanks to their indulgent, deeply satisfying selection of breakfast and brunch staples. Namely, and most famously, massive Southern-style biscuits.
I collaborated with The Wandering Goose to translate their heartwarming, rustic feel into a line of illustrated postcards celebrating their most popular biscuits. The owner's vision was rooted in classic cookbook illustrations, with a hint of storybook. The artistic direction of the cards reflects my favorite mode of hand-drawn, vibrantly-painted illustrations while pulling in decorative details that align with the restaurant's brand scheme.
Original reference photography, taken by me.
The final postcards
Drive Thru Boba
Drive Thru Boba might be one of the most popular bubble tea spots in the Seattle area, but they remain a small mom-and-pop operation. I worked with them to create an illustrated t-shirt design for their team members. It features some of their classic items, plus a few special treats that they make and release in limited batches.
The design was sketched first on paper, then vectorized to create a flat and easily screen-printable design.
Sweet Lo's Ice Cream Postcards
Sweet Lo's believes in making ice cream the all-natural, old-fashioned way. They don't add stabilizers, and they create all the mix-ins from scratch — even strawberry shortcake and lemon bars! So when Lauren wanted to do a collaboration to promote her company's Kickstarter, I made these illustrations with as much care and craft as she pours into her ice cream.
The series of five illustrated, hand-lettered designs highlights some of Sweet Lo's most popular flavors. These were shared on social media throughout her (successful) crowdfunding campaign, then printed as postcards to distribute at events.
Original hand-inked drawing.
Cleaned and digitally painted.
Slant'd is a new publication celebrating Asian American culture and the "bad asians" who bend and break the rules to influence society. For their inaugural print magazine, I had the honor of writing and illustrating a post about a Taiwanese street food classic: salt and pepper chicken. Drawing from research and experience, I connected the Western origins of the fried chicken snack to its Asian iteration, then back to the States where it continues to undergo new innovations.
Original hand-inked line drawings.
Digitally cleaned and painted.
Eater Seattle's Guide to West Seattle
This particular feature I wrote and illustrated for Eater Seattle hit me close to home — quite literally, as it features my own neighborhood of West Seattle. This curated list of some of my favorite spots represents both the area's close-knit character and up-and-coming dynamic.
Waffles, waffles, and waffles! And other delicious things too, but especially waffles.
East Street Records & Cafe
Because where else can you browse both indie rock albums and breakfast burritos?
Ma'ono Fried Chicken & Whisky
Famous for Hawaiian-fusion fare and an ingenious fried chicken platter paired with rice and kimchi.
Marination Ma Kai
Hawaiian-Korean tacos and sliders paired with glorious views of the city from across the Sound. Oh, and a patio-side bar.
100% sustainably sourced sushi crafted with painstaking care by local sushi master Hajime Sato.
New Luck Toy
Elevated Chinese take-out classics in a divey space with games and tiki bar cocktails.
Serves locally roasted Herkimer beans, expertly brewed into smooth espressos or a mighty fine cup of drip.
One of West Seattle's most revered drinking establishments, run by certified beer nerds and offering a variety of brews: mostly local, some imported, all good.
These mouthwatering illustrations were made in collaboration with Yumpling, a food truck based in New York City. After working with the owner to create hand-drawn versions of their menu offerings, I also created a new menu layout incorporating the illustrations along with the Yumpling logo and social media info.
Illustrations hand-drawn, then painted in Photoshop. Menu layout created in Illustrator.
I worked with this NYC-based food cart, Outerborough, to help them communicate their signature Taiwanese street food to their customers at Smorgasburg. The illustration showcases the many delightful fillings wrapped within a scallion pancake, including sensational salt & pepper chicken and house-made condiments.
Original line drawing in pencil, pen on paper
Nutty Squirrel Gelato
Nutty Squirrel, apart from having one of the most charming brands in Seattle, also happens to scoop some darn delicious gelato. I had the privilege of illustrating two designs for them: the first a brand communication piece for social media, and the second a graphic for their catering flyer. Both strive to capture the company's lively and whimsical personality.
Showcasing the many forms of Nutty Squirrel gelato, plus their iconic red tricycle and squirrel logo.
Original line drawing: pen & paper
Catering flyer graphic
Displaying their on-the-go options: their famous red tricycle, a cool box, a scoop station for events, and to-go pints of their gelato.
Initial rough sketch in pencil, pen
Cleaned-up line drawing
Harvest Collaborative is an agency that designs better experiences for food companies. It was created by three women with backgrounds in business, industrial design, and food strategy, all wanting to create a nimbler, more BS-proof way to work. In our first year of forming, we've helped clients brainstorm innovative food offerings, think strategically about kids' menus, and walk through important design basics to improve menu communication. We've also worked on launching product offerings: a weekly food industry newsletter with a friendly vibe, and business strategy-oriented thought starters with a long-term vision to grow a network of collaborators.
As a partner, creative strategist, and nick-named "brand philosopher" at Harvest, I've been at the heart of creating, clarifying, and communicating the brand and its vision from the ground up. My responsibilities have included designing the brand and all digital and print assets, creating presentation materials internally and for clients, researching food trends, generating regular content such as blog posts and newsletters, and managing or contributing to company social media accounts.
Brand elements, built from scratch.
Website design: www.harvestcollab.com
Original logo ideation, done in watercolor to create a warm, personable feel.