New work      05.08.24

For the love of popcorn. And people.
(But mostly people.)

Highland Popcorn Branding

Locals helping locals, helping (yep, even more) locals.

When a local lawyer came to us looking for help launching a popcorn shop — we were a little, uh, Hmmmmm. Innnnnteresting side gig for a lawyer-type. Then he shared his story, we were more Ahhhhh. Brilliant. Love it. Game on. 

Who is this big-hearted founder? It’s a team effort, with Shamus O’Meara working alongside his son Conor to bring their nonprofit concept to fruition. Conor’s an exceptionally social, sports- and music-obsessed 20-something with autism, who also happens to have a podcast (Conor’s Corner), where he’s scored multiple interviews with some pretty big sports names. For adults like Conor, the job market is tough. There just aren’t many opportunities for employment — and this popcorn shop concept was a way to prop open that door for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

They named it Highland Popcorn, a nod to the local neighborhood. And its whole reason for being is to provide a positive, encouraging, social environment where a uniquely qualified workforce can maximize their potential. Contribute to something meaningful. And feel valued — as an integral part of the onsite team as well as the greater local community. It’s popcorn with heart. Popcorn with purpose. Popcorn with Personality.TM 

In addition to the concept mentioned above, they had a name. Location. And apropos tagline (the TM’d bit above). Oh, and a partnership with Minnesota-based high-end grocer Lunds and Byerly’s(!). But their “still need” list was whewww. Lengthy. Brand positioning, personality, voice and values. Plus, a full visual identity system, packaging and environmental design for the shop. (Oh, and website, launch materials, social templates — a scope category we’d call “the works.”) 

For the identity, we created a fun, bubbly, popcorn-y logo, and smiley-kernel tagline lockup. We leaned into a bold, playful palette, and created a whimsical set of popcorn-munching characters that appear on the packaging, in-store — wherever we could find a spot for them! And once the brand had been established, we moved into retail design, transforming the space into a cheery, vibrant hangout for fans of popcorn (and who isn’t?). See all the branding here. 

Newly opened this spring, the shop has received a humbling amount of overwhelmingly supportive press coverage, significant interest from local stadiums and bars, and steady foot traffic from the surrounding area. Several flavors are also available at Lunds and Byerly’s, where all profits go back to supporting the brand mission.

And the Grand Opening hasn’t even happened yet(!). It’s May 31, in case you’re wondering. So, swing by and meet these thoroughly delightful makers and scoopers of popcorn – any fan of Highland Popcorn is a friend of ours.