Sustain-A-Grain: Logo & Branding

Logo & Branding

Sustain-A-Grain is a company with roots in Kansas and its sights on changing how the world grows and consumes grain. It’s a grain farming business specializing in the growing of a new perennial grain crop called Kernza, a wheatgrass that grows year-round and has massive roots that help improve soil and water quality. Kernza is the first perennial grain (most grains are annual) and a cousin of wheat. Because it lives for years, it grows enormous roots that help to stop erosion, trap carbon, and prevent runoff. 

Developed by scientists at The Land Institute, a non-profit research group leading the global movement for truly regenerative grain agriculture at scale, Kernza is an important foray into environmentally-friendly farming practices. 

The grain has been rapidly creating interest among bakeries and breweries due to its promise to both fight climate change and feed the world–and because of that, the Sustain-a-Grain team was eager to have a buttoned-up brand identity that would ensure consistent expression of its brand.

Working with the Sustain-a-Grain team, we created a logo that paid tribute to two aspects of the grain and the farming business–the depth of Kernza’s roots, which because of its perennial nature, can have roots that extend 10 feet into the ground, compared with the shorter roots of annual wheat. In addition, the concentric circles at the bottom of the logo represent the circles that are usually present in crop farming.

The logo’s colors are a combination of warm earth tones and cool colors. The brand’s orange and tan are its primary elements, with the blue and green hues being supporting or secondary colors. All colors represent the elements of the farming landscape – the fertile soil, the growing plants, and the sky and rain that nurtures them. In addition to the logo, we also created a grain pattern that brings energy and movement to the farm’s visuals, as well as icons that showcase Sustain-a-Grain’s process and important brand categories. 

These visual elements dovetail with Sustain-a-Grain’s photography selection both in terms of its farming photography as well as the photography they use to entice potential food and beverage clients. The farm photos stress the connection to the land as well as the farming process, treated with a golden-warm filter to make them unique to the Sustain-a-Grain brand. Similarly, the food and beverage photos focus on the food and the creation process.

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