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Case Study: O'Crumbs Bakes

I'd like to share with you each stage of the design process in creating a brand refresh for O'Crumbs Bakes in York.

I've loved working with Nicola on this project. I was delighted when she came to me for my hand drawn style. I made a comment that I thought her current logo didn't reflect the handmade quality of her bakes when I met her two years ago at a branding workshop I ran at 'Open Shop' community project.

Nicola is known for making exceptional carrot cake, hence her existing logo. She also makes tray bakes and loaf cakes.

She definitely didn’t want illustrations of pink iced cup cakes, as this didn’t fit the style of her bakes. It was quite a challenge as I felt that using a carrot cup cake as an icon would make people assume she made other iced cup cakes. Her style of baking is more honest and rustic with a focus on lovely natural ingredients rather than tonnes of artificially coloured sugary icing and decoration.

I starred by exploring designs around carrot cake, developing this onto other vegetable cake illustrations that she makes.

The final design felt right as it was obvious that it was a cake business but also had a subtle hint to her iconic carrot cake through the computation of the logo and the nod to leaves onto pop of the cake stand.

Both the cake stand and lettering where developed from hand drawn sketches. This is one of my favourite way of working as I get a softer more organic quality of line to my illustrations.

​​I designed her logo, business cards, labels, invoice and price cards. I also created a style guide and brand guidelines that showed how the logo and colour palette could be used across print, social media and her website.


Hand baked cakes using natural ingredients.

An established business, running for five years.


To create a brand refresh to reflected the companies values.

To create an professional, memorable brand image.


Hand drawn style and organic colours.

A cohesive look across marketing materials.


A fresh new look to carry a consistent visual message across the business.


I start by compiling research on market trends, customers, competitors, art styles and colours to build a visual picture.

Design stage 1

I always start exploring ideas in my sketch books first. I find this a freer way to work, as I can doodle different ideas and layouts quickly. I also carry my sketch books with me, as you never know where inspiration strikes!

I then move onto drawing my ideas in more detail. This can be in pencil, ink or printmaking techniques, depending on the style that I think is right for the brand. If I do this, I scan them in and work on in Adobe Illustrator to create a vector. This way I can keep the line quality quite close to the original drawing. For other ideas I draw directly in Adobe Illustrator.

This shows a selection of my first design concepts.

At this stage I present first design concepts to my client. I like to do this in person, so that I get direct feedback. It's surprising how much yo can judge by an expression of someones face when they first see a design.

I like to show the ideas in black and white, full colour and reversed out on colour, so that I can see how they will work across print and digital.

Design stage 2

On this project Nicola loved one of my first design concepts, so I went directly to visualising the ‘look and feel’ of the brand across print and digital.