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

Shovel & Bell

Contributed by Adeline Chong of Singapore-based Manic.

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell is the latest up-market gelateria and cafe in Guangzhou, China. The brief was to create an artisinal gelato brand with an emphasis on experience, quality, and taste. Shovel & Bell’s vision was to use traditional preparation methods for making gelato and premium ingredients, versus industrial production and preparation. Their customers were to be working adults who appreciate quality and enjoy indulgence.

The name “Shovel & Bell” came from the idea of traditional gelato shovels, and childhood feeling when you hear the ice cream bell. We introduced a palette of 10 gelato-inspired colours, along with gelato drips and splatters as part of the visual elements. While we wanted our brand to reflect quality and luxury, we also wanted to bring out the childish side of people — the feeling of a cold scoop on a hot summer day.

Project scope: Naming, branding, store design, stationery, menus, packaging, cutlery, crockery

Project duration from brief to completion: 22 Nov 2011 – 18 Sep 2012 (10 months)

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design

Shovel & Bell brand identity design


Design firm: Manic
Country: Singapore
Creative Director: Karen Huang
Art Director: Adeline Chong
Designers: Jenny Ji Jun, Wong Cheeyi

Kai Lian Printing (stationery and paper items)
Other packaging items were handled by our client and printed in China

Production info

Quantities: Various
Costs: Various
Production time: Various
Paper stock: Sirio 80 (290gsm duplex mounted) and Maple White
Number of colours: Two
Varnishes or treatments: Offset, embossing, duplex-mounting and edge-painting

Fonts: Aspect (wordmark), Archer (body text)

Production lessons:
The most trouble we had was with trying to edge paint the namecards ourselves (we like to get hands-on with these things). The embossing meant that no matter how tightly we clamped the cards, there were still small gaps that allowed the fine, airbrushed paint to get in. It took us many rounds of trial and error before we got it right. We also mixed all 10 colours ourselves and matched them to Pantone swatches!

Manic elsewhere on Identity Designed: Minette.

View more brand identity work on the Manic website. Manic on Twitter.

13 appreciated remarks about “Shovel & Bell”

  1. Looks like funerals in European culture. (Shovel and bell, black & white.)

  2. Let me start by pointing out what I like about this identity. I love the idea behind it. The color scheme, the typography and the presentation. The icon however is a little stark. Specifically the X ” don’t, stop, warning, black, death” nature of it. I would be inclined to remove the icon altogether and if anything work the shovel and bell feel into the type. Other than that I think this is a very nice piece!

  3. I partially agree with Shane, although these types of “hipster” logos seem to be quite popular these days. My only other complaint is the version of the logo with the detail in the handles of the shovel and bell. It makes the logo as a whole feel bottom heavy, and to be honest just seems unnecessary.

    Other than that, I really like this branding. Especially the mix of “luxury” with “playfulness” achieved with the splashes of gelato colors. Well done!

  4. I do agree with Dan, the line of the handle of shovel and bell can be removed and made solid. It’s giving me the feeling that the logo is incomplete. Anyway, the branding collaterals are great! Love it.

  5. Shovel and bell, so why in the mark do I see the bell first then the shovel?

  6. @adam

    Even worse… they are pointing the wrong direction.

  7. Just wondering, what is an ‘ice cream bell’?!

    I like the logo and the overall branding, but the bell being before the shovel in the mark niggles me and I’m interested to know why it was put this way round…

    The wordmark and the logo look great in situ…very stylish.

  8. The presentation here is very slick but it does feel a bit cold, despite the frozen product and the brief’s requirements. It’s nicely executed but overall it seems like a missed opportunity given the fun subject matter. However, there’s always the client involvement, deadlines, budget, etc., none of which we know about.

    A gelato shovel is really a “paddle” and it’s generally rounded or straight across the tip. This shovel looks like a garden shovel. (I wouldn’t mind eating a shovelful of gelato, however.) A shovel is more easily identifiable as a word and a shape, but it would have been nice to honor the authenticity of gelato since that was a key component.

    Cute name, but Paddle & Bell sounds cute, too.

  9. Completely agree with what was said about the brandmark, regarding it looking unfinished and the shovel and bell the wrong way round. The logo and typeface really don’t do it for me. They do look a lot better in situ, however i always feel the logo should be able to stand alone. It’s not iconic enough, if i had a pound for every god damn X logo i’ve seen pop up in the past few years id probably be nearly on the way to buying a new iMac. It’s just a little boring, i feel like this logo would be one of the very first things i’d jot down in a pad and then swiftly move onward and upwards. Also when i skim past that typeface real quick, or catch it in my peripheral it looks ever so slightly Comic Sans (ish). I know it’s not, but what has been seen, cannot be unseen.

  10. Dammit. The Shovel/Bell mispositioning ruined it for me. It’s now a splinter in the mind.

    The lines in the handles do not bother me as much from an aesthetic standpoint, but I’d be more concerned about the technical aspect—degradation of form at various sizes. The “hipster” appeal doesn’t bother me either—it feels appropriate for the product and demographic.

    I like the overall system. And black will always be the new black. I’d love to revisit their branding in a year or two to see how it holds up.

  11. I had to laugh at the so called ‘mis-positioning’. Perhaps it is intentionally reading from right to left?

    Is anyone else concerned at those transparent people visiting the ice cream counter? They are forever turning up in client presentations.

    I see dead people, I see them everywhere (perhaps brutally murdered with an gelato shovel, or bell).

  12. In reply to Matt Saunders’s comment; in South-East Asia, particularly Singapore and Malaysia. It is a common practice of ice-cream sellers to ring bells on their bicycles or motorbikes wherever they go to “announce” their arrival.

    As a child, I always look forward to hear the sound of an ‘ice cream bell’ every evening.

  13. If the “ice cream bell” is iconic, why not just a bell as the mark?

What do you think?

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