Vegetarian food

Camden has a brand new advert company – one which providers completely vegan shoppers

Cayla Mäki-Pittman considers herself an activist disguised as an advert company govt. She and husband, Dave Pittman, personal Innocent Studio, a Camden-based meals product design agency that stands out as one of many few, and presumably the one, completely vegan U.S. advert company.

Vegetarianism and The Good Life The Good Life Middle, as soon as house to Maine easy residing advocates and vegetarians Helen and Scott Nearing, hosts Maine Sunday Telegram columnist Avery Yale Kamila on Sunday, July 30 at 4 p.m. as a part of its summer season lecture collection, which the Nearings themselves started a long time in the past. Kamila will talk about Maine’s 300 years of vegetarian historical past and the way it connects to The Good Life. The middle is situated in Harborside. For extra data:

Innocent Studio will work solely with shoppers who produce vegan and plant-based merchandise. The agency was based in Windfall, Rhode Island, in 2018; the couple moved it to Maine in 2021.

“I really like the work we do as a result of I see design as a type of activism,” Mäki-Pittman mentioned. “We’re creating extra of what we wish to see on the planet. We’re very choosy in regards to the folks and initiatives we work with.”

Innocent Studio has created advertising and marketing campaigns for eating places, packaged meals corporations and producers creating plant-based wholesale substances. Previous shoppers embrace eating places PlantPub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Luis Obispo, California, and vegan meals corridor Plant Metropolis in Windfall; meals product corporations Pure Batch, Unicreamer, Frankie & Jo’s, Umaro, and Celebration Sloth; and wholesalers Teese Vegan Cheese and Yali Bio.

“We’re utilizing our backgrounds in advertising and marketing and promoting to carry these to bear for vegan shoppers,” mentioned Pittman, who labored for conventional companies earlier than he and his spouse based Innocent Studio. Each Pittman and Mäki-Pittman are graduates of the Rhode Island Faculty of Design.

When PlantPub co-founder Pat McAuley was working with Innocent Studio to develop the restaurant’s branding, he instructed the workforce that he didn’t “need PlantPub to be a hipster, granola, vegan spot.” As an alternative, PlantPub goals to entice non-vegans to get pleasure from its completely plant-based pub fare by making a mainstream fast-casual model identification. McAuley mentioned the Innocent Studio workforce understood the idea and delivered a design aesthetic free from “Buddhas and brilliant colours.” He was impressed with the agency’s technical experience and data of issues he’d by no means given a lot thought to, comparable to fonts.


“It was hours and hours of simply selecting the fonts,” mentioned McAuley. “They have been actually updated. It’s been two-plus years since we labored with them and you may see now that numerous manufacturers are headed within the path they prompt two years in the past.”

Establishing a design agency solely for vegan companies meant overcoming each the uncertainty of a brand new enterprise and of launching an organization in an rising enterprise class.

“We did have some suggestions that it won’t have been the wisest resolution,” Mäki-Pittman mentioned. “However as a result of we took that leap of religion, it allowed us to develop this hyper area of interest, and because the vegan scene has grown, we’ve grown with it.”

Competitors has additionally grown.

“Over the previous eight years, I’ve seen increasingly more professionals launch service-based companies with the purpose of solely serving the rising vegan and plant-based market,” Australia-based creator, and vegan enterprise and advertising and marketing knowledgeable Katrina Fox instructed me. “Whereas as soon as you’ll have been just one or two in your class, comparable to a vegan graphic designer, now there’s much more competitors. I consider it is a reflection of extra professionals eager to work for companies which might be consistent with their ethics and values.”

That’s definitely what led Mäki-Pittman and Pittman to launch Innocent Studio. What makes them uncommon even amongst design corporations that target plant-based companies is their coverage to limit their shoppers to completely plant-based corporations. Different gamers on this house embrace the advert companies Levo, based in 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Scout 22, based in 2015 in Los Angeles, and Quicker/Ahead based in 2022 in Phoenix. One of many oldest vegan advertising and marketing corporations is Vegan Mainstream, launched by Stephanie Redcross in 2009 in Kissimmee, Florida.


Every so often, Innocent Studio has turned down potential shoppers; nonetheless, Mäki-Pittman mentioned their stance “has made us extra enticing” to different shoppers. As lifelong animal lovers, moral vegans for seven years, and vegetarians for eight years earlier than that, the pair see the enterprise transfer as the fitting factor to do.

“No matter if it’s helped us or damage us as a enterprise, we get to work on initiatives that we care about deeply each day, and it’s onerous to place a value on that,” Mäki-Pittman mentioned.

One concern all of those corporations face is whether or not to make use of “vegan,” “plant-based” or one other descriptor on the packaging they design and the advertising and marketing they create.

“Context issues,” Mäki-Pittman mentioned. For instance, utilizing the phrase “vegan” is useful on-line as a result of the phrase is a well-liked search time period. “Nevertheless,” she mentioned, “that’s not essentially the phrase to make use of if (the product) goes to be shelved subsequent to animal merchandise” in a grocery retailer. In that state of affairs, the higher selection is perhaps “plant-based.” In between, there’s numerous grey space.

“Companies are likely to see the time period plant-based as much less politicized and fewer divisive, much less activist-oriented,” Pittman mentioned.

“If you happen to’re not a vegan and also you’re on the lookout for a restaurant that sells these merchandise, you’d nonetheless google ‘vegan restaurant’ relatively than ‘plant-based restaurant,’” Pittman mentioned, “Vegan is everybody’s shorthand for these items.” The Google Pattern information bears this out, with solely a tiny slice of individuals googling “plant based mostly restaurant.” In Maine, that tiny slice drops to zero and all of the searches are for “vegan restaurant.”


A lot of the start-ups and small corporations Innocent Studio works with are on the lookout for methods to make their merchandise stand out in a crowded market. Typically, step one to attaining visibility helps the corporate founders develop into snug with “being completely different and taking extra dangers,” Mäki-Pittman mentioned. It additionally means serving to house owners perceive how the perfect design for a product might not be their first design selection.

Mäki-Pittman mentioned that creating eye-catching package deal designs and tempting ads is “not like designing your front room. The purpose is to make folks a little bit bit uncomfortable. To get their consideration.”

It’s clear that Innocent Studio has the eye of a lot of immediately’s vegan startups.

Avery Yale Kamila is a meals author who lives in Portland. She could be reached at

Ship questions/feedback to the editors.

« Earlier

filed beneath:

Related Articles

Back to top button