Camp Umpy's Bagels & Stuff is a Honesdale, PA staple business that's been in operation for over a decade. Umpy's has been not only a place that has imo the best bagels in town but also a place of community support and activism.
Our setting: Honesdale, Pennsylvania, USA
Known for it's summer camps, kids from New York City & Philadelphia make their way to Honesdale to the many camps here because of the area's pristine rivers, lakes, trails and wildlife. It is truly a beautiful place full of avid outdoorsy people.
When Camp Umpy's approached me they wanted a redesign of the character and their iconic rustic, camp-themed logo. I wanted to do a full redesign of their visual identity for the sake of cohesiveness and consistency. I started with the character. My journey began with an original drawing of the Camp Umpy character by Umpy himself!
Previous to my redesign a brand character was created based on Umpy's drawing. Although it held on for some time it was never received too well and I wanted to encompass the fun and friendly energy of Camp Umpy's with my redesign.
I focused on creating a character that was friendly most of all, with a little dash of cute in there as well.
The face was a big area of focus for me. If you've read my other case studies you might know how very significant eyes are when it comes to the mascots I design. The previous mascot had eyes that were duplicated, a very odd nose and arms I wanted to fix. He looked naked under his beard and along with the toothy irregular smile I always felt it looked unsettling. I had to put my best work into making this mascot as lovable as the brand.
Oval but bottom weighted eyes made Umpy friendlier looking. I added eyebrows to help the character look more emotive. I made sure the gaze of the character's pupils connected directly with the viewer. I tried various choices until I came upon this nose that I made look more real but still big and round and oafy. For me the most important element besides the eyes are the smile. Still wanting a big toothy smile, my challenge lied in making the smile look as friendly as possible. I went with a mustache covered smile that was way more even in the placement of the teeth. The hands were fixed to look rounder and cuter. The previous ears were large and might've made sense being Umpy is an older human character. But knowing when to mix cuter elements in when humanizing characters is essential to increasing their lovable nature. So my ears are smaller and rounder, more akin to a youthful character. Subtly mixed in for peak perception of our character.
I love designing characters. Ever since my childhood it has been my calling in the world. So it's no surprise I spent a full work day on the boots alone! Umpy only had boots in his original drawing so I had to bring them back. I went with a hiking boot, of course, but through numerous tries I landed on a style of boot that was both a classic hiker and easy to recognize in small versions. I donned Umpy in hiking shorts and a shirt lightly akin to a park ranger. The hat got a makeover as well to look more classic and the arrow changed directions to symbolize the progress the character was taking in the redesign but more importantly to symbolize the progressive views of the business.
Next came the logo. In the previous version of the logo a font was used but it had a lot of texture and distortion that did not fit the overall look of the rest of the logo, and I chose to do my custom hand lettering instead. In keeping with the camp vibe, I went with a fun bottom heavy lettering made up of wood slats at first but finally landed on this hand lettering made up of logs.
The name of the business was at time confusing with the people of the town I came to learn from my research.
I love apostrophes, especially as fun accents to add to a brand's image. What better apostrophe than a delicious bagel to let people know this place has delicious bagels with a fun camp vibe!
Camp Umpy's needed an outside menu so here's one I designed for them and added some of my illustrations in there as well.
Now time for some merch! We made sweats, pennants, hoodies and stickers for all the happy campers!
The first business in town to proudly display a Black Lives Matter sign and always be there for LGBTQ+ rights. We celebrated Pride Month with a fun design to make into free stickers for the loyal patrons of Camp Umpy's.
For general brand use I wanted to find 'fun and classic'.
They just, get it!