Diana Kerr and Kathleen Jones recently opened Kerr+Jones Fine Art & Craft, a gallery near Boothbay Harbor, Maine featuring contemporary Maine art and craft. Read on to learn more about how they created and implemented a brand for this premier Mid-Coast Maine destination for unique and timeless works.
Maine’s Fine Art Legacy
With its rocky coastlines and wild forests Maine has captured the imagination of American legends such as the Wyeth family and Edward Hopper. Today, Maine makers continue to produce some of the finest works of art and crafts in the country, using the land as inspiration and also for much of their raw materials.
With many years of experience in directing art galleries and curating museum exhibitions, Kerr+Jones has deep connections to the Maine art world. As a result, their gallery is stocked with some of the finest examples of some of Maine’s most noted artists.
Finding Their Voice
As a first step in finding their voice, Kerr+Jones created customer personas using market research based on their prior work experience. A few of the characteristics they identified included:
- Local year-round and seasonal homeowners and tourists who are inspired by Maine’s beauty.
- Value unique and timeless works as showpieces in their homes and as gifts.
- Lead busy lives with limited time to spend hunting for the perfect piece of art or craft.
After the personas were finalized, they developed a value proposition and key messages to inform this audience of their unique benefits to address their need to acquire unique and timeless pieces that reflect Maine’s rugged beauty in a simple and organized space.
In Mid-coast Maine the term “gallery” may be applied to establishments ranging from inexpensive souvenir stores to shops specializing in fine estate art. Kerr+Jones’ unique vision in creating the gallery was based on three pillars intended to address unmet needs of their audience:
- Expertly curated collection of contemporary Maine artists.
- Varied representation of media and artistic styles.
- Elegant, relaxed, and uncluttered shopping experience.
This vision was also reflected in their value proposition, “Fine art & craft inspired by the timeless beauty of Maine”, which was designed to reflect the elegance, simplicity, and diversity of works to be found in their gallery.
Building a Brand
Once their audience and messaging were defined, Kerr+Jones turned their attention to creating an engaging visual brand identity. A style guide including logo, color palette, typography and usage guidelines was created to integrate the following distinguishing brand attributes:
To highlight their focus on Maine artists, Kerr+Jones selected a simple color palette representing the swirling tides and rugged rocks along the Maine coastline.
Their goal in selecting typography was to convey their contemporary, simple and elegant aesthetic.
The headline typeface, Semplicita Pro, is a modern and clean sans serif based on geometric forms which is complemented by Proxima Nova, a more personal sans serif, for subheadings and body text.
Kerr+Jones combined their coastal color palette with clean Semplicita Pro typeface to create a logo that clearly articulates their brand voice. Several logo variations were developed to make sure it could be consistently applied in a range of use cases.
Branding in Action
Kerr+Jones applied their messaging, value proposition and brand assets to create a unique meaningful identity for their audience through the following channels:
Kerr+Jones created an ecommerce site, kerrjones.com on Shopify. This site combines their simple and elegant brand and messaging with stunning images of their artists’ works and links to their Instagram, Facebook and email marketing functions.
All print materials, including rack cards, business cards, product tags and stickers are consistent with their brand guidelines.
Public relations and advertising
Kerr+Jones has implemented an impactful public relations and advertising campaign. In interviews with publications such as Décor Maine, Kerr+Jones consistently conveys their value proposition and key selling messages through their interviews.
They have also effectively engaged their audience with simple advertisements that align closely with their brand identity.
When you have an exciting business idea it is tempting to want to dive right into the selling process.
However, taking the time up-front to identify your audience, their unmet needs, and the value proposition, key messages and brand identity to engage will help you ramp up sales more efficiently and sustainably in the long run.