Design: Valerie Francis
Project Type: Student Project
School: Ball State University
Course: Visual Communications 3
Tutor: Shantanu Suman
Location: Muncie, IN United States
Packaging Contents: Ice Cream, Slushies
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Paper, Plastic
The Barking Cow is an old-fashioned ice cream parlor located in a small community with an interesting history. When starting the business, the owner, Cary, delved into the history of Gaston, Indiana and found they had numerous gas well fires in 1913, leaving a cow to live in a pen with dogs after its mother passed. The same farm had another gas well fire and to alert the farmer of the fire, the cow began to bark- thus, The Barking Cow was born. Their “mascot,” the cow, was named Sylvia after Cary’s grandmother.
For this project, I designed a food truck, menu, and packaging for the ice cream. I wanted the look and feel of the packaging to capture the customer and be recognizable even after they have walked away from the truck. I played off their original identity system but made it my own by pairing the blue with a bold magenta to give it more vibrancy, and redesigned the lock-ups. The food truck and packaging contain spiral stripes to resemble an ice cream cone and drips to resemble the ice cream spilling over the cone. The menu, truck, and packaging all have Sylvia on them because she is such a prevalent part of the history of the business.
This project is unique because of how it plays on the uniqueness of history of The Barking Cow’s name and their “mascot,” Sylvia. Since the history was so prevalent in the creation of the old-fashioned ice cream parlor and the physical store is decorated with fireman jackets, hoses, and farming equipment, I wanted Sylvia to be the focal point of the designs. She can be seen on every side of the food truck and on each piece of packaging accompanied by the diagonal stripes spiraling up the packaging like ice cream and topped with ice cream drips. Sylvia gives each piece a recognizable icon for the customers to be able to associate with The Barking Cow. She gives the traveling food truck a touch of Gaston, Indiana.