They That Do’s identity for Seedfolk is inspired by vintage botanicals and vegetable wood carvings

With an earthy look for the home startup, the studio set out to connect people with the colourful joys of growing their own.

1 July 2024

Since we last caught up, They That Do have been focusing their attention on working with progressive brands. Those that “have a clear community first proposition”, and are “led by real people doing great things for the people and planet”, creative director Vincent Howcutt tells us. In comes Seedfolk, a lockdown family start-up initiated by Gemma Hudson encouraging people to grow their own from home, the perfect match for the London-based studio.

Inspired by the shift in a desire to be outdoors and connecting with nature in the tough and isolating times of national lockdowns, Seedfolk was born out of a moment when many had time to slow down and reflect on the smaller things – in Gemma’s case this was growing veggies in her own back garden. The seed subscription and grow club started from Gemma’s own family’s journey with gardening and her desire to share this joy with others. “I thought this was a wonderful story and ultimately it's where the name came from – folk coming together to grow from the humble seed”, shares Vincent.


They That Do: Seed Folk (Copyright © TtD, 2024)

With the aim to connect to the gardening community – as well as and both younger and older generations – with the joys of growing their own, They That Do set out on a new identity for the brand that is multilayered and full of vibrancy, a visual ode to “the multitude of colours and plots of land found in allotments or your garden”. Vincent tells us that the project started out at the British Library where he “[dug] through turn of the century botanical manuals” and perused “vintage print ads from the early 1900s of hand illustrated posters and prints”. Seeing a parallel between these war time visuals and pandemic turmoil, Vincent decided to hark back to the past. “This then went on to going back further to late 1800s style etchings and original wood carvings and then onto the type found on 1930s letterpressed seed packets and 60s Japanese seed packet illustrations found in an antiques shop,” he says.

From this eclectic visual catalogue They That Do created a brand playbook for Gemma with the help of photographer Thomas Minnock, one that clashes warm nostalgic imagery with bold graphic backdrops and intricate vintage illustrations. The studio’s intention with the design of the identity was to create a simple colour system in which new textures and imagery could be layered with or added to over time, leaving room for the brand to grow.

It wasn’t just the imagery that drew from seed print ephemera and botanical diagrams though, as Vincent explains: “We wanted a typeface selection that harked back to the clash of faces found on vintage 30s letterpress seed packets yet were modern cuts so held their own in today’s world”. Landing on Coconat and Messapia Bold from Collletttivo Foundry, GT Walsheim from Grillitype and an adaptation of Albra Book Regular from Ultra Kuhl Foundry for their main word marque, the studio used a palette of type to overlay their wide ranging visuals. A lovely final touch is their animated word mark made to make Seedfolk feel as if it is growing out of the ground.

GalleryThey That Do: Seed Folk (Copyright © TtD, 2024)

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They That Do: Seed Folk (Copyright © TtD, 2024)

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About the Author

Ellis Tree

Ellis Tree (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a junior writer in April 2024 after graduating from Kingston School of Art with a degree in Graphic Design. Across her research, writing and visual work she has a particular interest in printmaking, self-publishing and expanded approaches to photography.

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