Lindsay Party Guides

Lindsay is the largest table olive producer in the United States, woah dang! I’ve helped bring their digital brand to life through dozens of projects over the years, including website UX & design, marketing campaigns, contests, newsletters, and more. This project in particular was a real treat to work on... read on!

Playing the long-game with brand engagement

Lindsay is a brand with a lot to give. Over the years we’ve pushed their website from a simple showcase of products and recipes toward something richer, more engaging, and more real, coming to define the digital brand  through compelling original content that brings users back again and again.

Our new content challenge for summer? “Owning entertainment” was the two-word project brief. This set in motion an entire new branch of the digital experience, and the biggest risk we’ve ever taken with Lindsay — the Party Guides.

No longer satisfied with simple recipes for food, we wanted to give people the recipe for a whole experience: a collection of themed party hosting tips, crafts, decorations, food pairings, and new recipes that would truly embody the feeling of a California Summer.

Strategy & goals

These party guides were created to satisfy both long- and short-term marketing goals for Lindsay.

In the long run, the guides would foster overall brand engagement and loyalty. That feels risky when you can’t measure any immediate gains or track any particular behaivor, but is a key part of creating a real bond between brand and consumer.

Now the short-term. To quell any concerns about “the numbers”, we slapped a sweepstakes on top of the whole thing. This played double duty. The simple “enter email for chance to win” transaction generated valuable new additions to the Lindsay email list, of course. Meanwhile, the ever-so-tempting “WIN” messaging was the perfect hook to draw curious eyeballs into a much deeper experience.

Leveraging the experts

How did we create this great content? Collaboration with the experts — professional chefs, event planners, social media influencers, and of course a healthy dash of our own fun ideas.

Expanding the visual brand

Lindsay has a fresh & fantastic visual brand, but we wanted to take this opportunity to expand the design system into new territory.

Typography was left mostly intact, using standard heading and paragraph styles to fill out the new pages, with a few eye-catching new type treatements added to the hero graphics to give each party it’s own personality.

Photography will always be a big part of the Linsday experience too. While we didn’t have the budget to actualy throw these parties (which would have been awesome and resulted in some great instagrams) our content creators got some great shots of their cooking and crafting processes.

And finally, the illustrations. Lindsay does have a unique illustration style that they use throughout their products and digital presence. However, we found that style would not carry us through this project — especially with the volume of illustrations we would need to make to fill the holes left by our slim photography budget. So we entered new territory with a fresh style that felt appropriate for the brand, while still making
the experience visually distinct from the main site. Win!

Modular & reusable

One major requirement of the design system was reusability. We wanted to introduce more party guides in the future with minimal dev effort, while making room for plenty of visual variety.

The first round of summer parties took us several months to concept, design, and develop. Come wintertime, though… we wrapped another party series in a matter of weeks!

The content proved so popular that it influenced the creation of a whole new section of the website (currently named #BiteSizeFun) filled with party tips, recipe collections, video content, and more.

A new process

From concepting to launch, this was new territory in so many ways. It was the first time our team experimented with in-depth group brainstorming to create the campaign concept. It was the first modular responsive design system I’d ever created from scratch. It was the first time we’d collaborated with so many freelance content creators at once. It was a whole new format for telling the Lindsay story. The design, content, and development process were running near-simultaneously. Every day was a learning experience; Every day was a risk. Somehow, we made it!