Client: Honest Dumplings

Creating the Most Honest Brand Ever

Grocery stores are filled with lies

Disregarding the status quo and building a brand that is completely transparent and delicious.


Food packaging lies. From the photos to the ingredients to the promises of 100% this and 100% that, deception everywhere. But Edmonton based Honest Dumplings didn’t need dishonesty to sell their product. The quality and flavour of the dumplings is outstanding, honestly. They just needed a brand that would take their product from the Farmer’s Markets into the grocery store.

Our Challenge

Create a brand story that would stand out in a grocery Aisle where everyone is competing to grab your attention.

The Solution

We decided to do the exact opposite of what everyone else was doing.

We created a brand that rewards exploration. We illustrated the dumpling flavours in a fun, simple and honest style that stands out and encourages customers to buy and actually try the product for themselves. There is no photoshop, no little window to see what’s inside, no trendy colour palette – just a company banking on honesty and deliciousness to sell some dumplings.

The external launch of the brand occurred at Make it Edmonton | The Handmade Revolution product show in November of 2017

The Honest Dumplings team now has a brand platform that they are extremely proud of and they’re able to speak honestly about what they do, everyday.

The Work

Instead of normal food photography for the packaging we went with a fun and unique illustration style. We represented each flavour with a different character to bring the flavours to life. We took this approach to bring some exploration and mystery back to purchasing food.


We wanted the brand to be as honest as possible and that really needed to start with the copywriting. Everything we write for Honest Dumplings needs to be true. Combine that with a hand-rendered typographic style that’s as rough and honest as it is finessed and you have a brand that is pretty hard to ignore despite it’s apparent simplicity.

We made these napkins that said “You have something on your face”. They were given out for free at Honest Dumplings’ booths around the city. Little did we know that people would ask to pay for the napkins that were free because they loved them so much.

The Results

  • The overall reaction has been extremely positive with consumers purchasing the product explicitly because they loved the marketing, so much so they’ve even asked to buy the napkins from the stand
  • Distribution discussions with retailers like Blush Lane, Planet Organic, Community Natural Foods, and Italian Centre Shop provided strong validation of the brand leading to additional retail locations
  • Social media chatter from both existing and new fans is overwhelmingly positive
  • The brand is expanding to the Calgary market and retail stores with a now larger presence in Calgary than Edmonton
  • All this success has enabled the team to invest in a food accelerator concept in Edmonton that will provide them with a permanent manufacturing base with larger capacity to support growing sales
  • ACE Award – Illustration – 39th Annual ACE Awards
  • ACE Award – Copywriting – 39th Annual ACE Awards
  • ACE Award – Typography – 39th Annual ACE Awards
  • ACE Award – Identity Design – 39th Annual ACE Awards
  • ACE Award – Best in Show – 39th Annual ACE Awards
  • Anvil Award – Illustration – 2018 Anvil Awards
  • Anvil Award – Packaging – 2018 Anvil Awards
  • Anvil Award – Brand Identify – 2018 Anvil Awards
  • Anvil Award – Non-tradition – 2018 Anvil Awards
  • Anvil Award – Best in Show – 2018 Anvil Awards
  • Communication Arts – Packaging Design – 2018 Award of Excellence (Design Annual 59)