MindMapping the Pasta

Students in Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo's design class blog about their creative process as they develop a new logo and visual identity for the local pasta company, Al Dente.

Students begin the design process with a brainstorm session, creating a 'mind map' for Al Dente Pasta.


TEAM ONE is Emily Maier, Sam Goldman, Allie Seiler, Sam Schulman, Chelsae Blackman and Andrew Hainen 

From their blog:

So our group got started on new ideas for the Al Dente Pasta Company’s branding and feel.  We began with a simple mind mapping of what we perceived about Al Dente.  Ideas flowed from the packaging, the bag, the taste, the colors, etc.

Above is an image of what the class came up with just at a whim and during a group discussion. We then moved into out separate groups and brainstormed further, and tried to nail down our specific goals.

Together we came to the conclusion that Al Dente has so much potential, energy, and personality, but it’s just being sent out in too many directions and trying to do too many things at once.  Our primary goal has become to nail down a universal logo for the company.  This is important because it becomes the embodiment of the company, the “face” that interacts with people and what comes to mind when they hear “Al Dente” mentioned in conversations.  Our group is going to try and come up with some new designs for the logo, with few restrictions at first, and then to collaborate after we have all taken a chance on the new design.  From there, we will be able to come up with a revised and unique identity for Al Dente.

Once the logo is established, everything will be able to flow from the feel of that design and mark.  Other tasks we have to achieve include:

  • Establishing unique feel/identity for each type/line of pasta
  • Coming up with a consistent branding package so that others can recreate the design in the future
  • Incorporate the important factors about the pasta into the label  and packaging.

Today (September 22nd) we met with our professor Franc Nunoo-Quarco and Wendy from Al Dente to cover our goals and strategy.  Wendy described to us the mission of the company and how we can utilize the new branding and blogs in the social marketing universe.

"Al Dente’s look and feel is like a boat that has been repaired too many times.  You guys get the chance to build a new boat."

From here, we are writing our proposal for the project, and will be sketching out ideas and designs this weekend and meeting together on Monday to discuss.


TEAM THREE is: Jackie San Fillipo, Sara Loshak , Erin Stroble , Lindsay Bienick  and Jason Mahakian 


From their blog:

Monday was our first day diving into the process of redesigning/re-branding the identity of Al Dente Pasta. We started as a class creating a mind map of thoughts/feelings/words that spurred from "Al Dente."

From there we, as a group, created a mini outline of our process:

1) Redesigning the Logo
               This involved finding a hierarchy in the logo itself:
               a) "Al Dente" (the name)
               b) "Pasta"
               c) the checkerboard

(Below is one of the current labels which includes "the checkerboard", part of the Al Dente brand since the company was founded in 1981.)

However we wish to find a way to integrate this as part of the design as a whole. This way the logo can function as a name label with or without the checkerboard. We see the board as currently standing alone as a separate entity, and in this case, failing as a design element.

We are working to have the logo speak directly about the pasta itself. (To start this process, we created a mind map of "Pasta").

2) Defining the Contextual Hierarchy of the label:
    a) Type of noodle
                    - flavor
    b) Logo
    c) "100% All-Natural"
    d) 3-minute cooking blurb
    e) Imagery
    f) Net wt.
    g) Kosher

These are the 2 main goals we hope to tackle first. I'll keep you updated when we have more! (Also to come, images and inspirations!)

Stay tuned for more from these students' design process.


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