Identity Designed is a showcase of brand identity projects from around the world.

Rockwood Charcoal

Contributed by Mike Spakowski of St Louis-based Atomicdust.

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood is all-natural lump charcoal made entirely from Missouri hardwood, unlike the charcoal briquettes or match-light charcoal typically seen in stores. People think of charcoal as a commodity product, but because Rockwood is different, Atomicdust had an opportunity to do something fresh that would stand out on the shelf.

Early on, our design team settled on modern, bold typography for the package to contrast with many existing brands that relied on more rustic treatments. We also experimented with different illustration styles and imagery that reflected the product and the process — everything from axes and saw blades (to reflect the charcoal’s wooden roots), to illustrations of the food that the charcoal would eventually be used to cook.

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Eventually, we found inspiration in vintage, screen-printed posters, and created big, bold illustrations of the charcoal itself to reflect its purity and power. Rather than coating the entire bag in ink, we let the kraft paper bag color show through as a nod to Rockwood’s all-natural origins. The bag is recyclable, and printed using soy-based inks that won’t produce harmful fumes if burned.

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

An unofficial tagline — “Smoke the Competition” — positions Rockwood as the brand of choice for barbecue champions or anyone who wants to cook like one.

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood’s new website, designed for viewing across desktops, tablets, and phones, helps potential buyers understand the benefits of premium lump charcoal versus alternative options, and uses in-house photography to show the product’s natural hardwood origins. The website also promotes the noticeable differences customers can see and experience at the grill, like superior temperature control, less smoke, and a more natural aroma.

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Rockwood Charcoal brand identity design

Atomicdust elsewhere on Identity Designed: Pastaria, Goshen Coffee.

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4 appreciated remarks about “Rockwood Charcoal”

  1. Thanks for sharing. I basically live down the road from Atomicdust (Southeast Missouri) and wasn’t aware of their work until now. Great stuff! I’ll be checking out their portfolio.

  2. Thumbs up! There are some minor traces of hipsterism in here that I’d generally consider cliched, but they are genuine here as charcoal is a very traditional product. Things that I like in particular: the bags, color palette, product photos, icons used for the types of grills, and layout. Overall, this is a nice take on a traditional product.

  3. I love the tagline “Smoke the Competition.” I think it echoes perfectly the kind of attitude associated with bbq’s — fun loving, mischievous banter.

  4. I really love the website… actually, even the logo looks better on that photo background… awesome!

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