Bananas For Branding: From Common Commodity to Creative Catalyst
From inception, Headword’s mission is to enable creators to create. When creatives have the opportunity to explore ideas, find cultural relevance, and dig into what they know and do best, businesses perform at their peak. As a branding agency, we believe wholeheartedly that the best work comes from freedom, and we wanted to bestow that freedom onto anyone that wanted to create. So we came up with a noble project, one that would allow dreamers to reach to the top of the tree. We asked folks to unlock their creativity and brand a banana.
Banana Bonus Fact: Banana plants can grow up to 30 feet. It looks like a tree, But instead of having a tree trunk, it’s made up of a series of overlapping leaves. It takes about 9-18 months to grow to maturity.
Everybody loves bananas. The average American eats 26lbs of bananas a year. They are the most purchased item in grocery stores, particularly the Cavendish Banana, named after Englishman William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire (The Cavendish replaced the Gros Michel variety after the Gros Michel was wiped out by fungus in the 1950s. The Gros Michel was bigger, tasted better, and had a longer shelf life (RIP)). For a time, this sweet, simple staple ruled supreme in the minds of Americans as a symbol of class and culture. However, this once-exotic import from tropical locales is now a 25-cent meme that is shelf-aged into mush before being desperately transformed into bread. We thought it was time to return this humble, nutritious commodity into art and embrace the true glory of the banana, so we called for creative help.
Banana Bonus Fact: Humans share about 50% of our DNA with bananas. Bananas are our brethren (kinda)!
We asked those brave branders that banded to oblige our banana-based beckons to recapture the imagination of the masses by branding a banana in their own personal style. The challenge was simple: create an Instagram post showcasing your design / illustration / photography / animation capabilities using the subject matter of: a banana. No limits.
Banana Bonus Fact: More songs have been written about bananas than any other fruit. That’s truly B-A-N-A-N-A-S!
The call was answered and the challenge proved fruitful. The posts came in bunches, with a wide-variety of style and taste (Did you know: there are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas). We had some pretty sweet submissions, and ultimately wound up with a bountiful harvest.
We had this wonderfully intricate design by Rob Hungerman
Kyle Brinker gave us a magnificent type-based approach
And our own Liz Butler got in on the action with this banana breakdown.
While others took a heavily illustrative and character driven approach like the cover of this fictional banana magazine from Andy Sohoza …
… and a wiggling banana that happens to have another dual personality as a pencil.
I’ll Leaf You With This
Experts have found that the Cavendish variety (the kind Americans know and love) is vulnerable to disease. Botanists think this kind of banana could be wiped out in the next 20 years. So maybe we stop taking bananas for granted. Maybe they’re not just fruits the internet has commondered for jokes. Next time you see a banana, don’t think of it as an incredibly convenient fruit, think of it as an institution. A gift to the world. An inspiration.
If you find these words to be the ramblings of a crazy person, let me stop you right there, reader. Headword doesn’t do crazy. Headword does bananas.