Studio Spotlight: KTOM

by Theresa Christine Johnson on 12/14/2015 | 9 Minute Read

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KTOM is a Seattle-based agency led by award-winning illustrator and graphic designer Kelly Thompson. Brand identities and package design are her specialty, although she’s worked on a wide variety of projects, including her own venture, Mae James Coffee. For this Studio Spotlight, we take a closer look at some of the food and beverage designs that Thompson has developed as KTOM.


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Paleonola touts itself as “real food,” with no artificial ingredients whatsoever. Soy free, dairy free, preservative free...proof that simple ingredients can combine to make delicious snacks and meals.

Each resealable bag of granola feels innately in tune with Mother Nature. Coming directly from the earth and inspired by the mountains, Paleonola easily appeals to the health-conscious. A jagged, clear opening in the packaging lets buyers see the raw product inside, and bright colors to identify each variety make the brand fun and energetic. 

The granola takes the idea of healthy, all-natural foods and gives it a bit of edge for the modern market. Lively graphics communicate the brand values and quickly inform buyers of the wholesome ingredients inside. Paleonola isn’t just bland health food; instead, it is honest-to-goodness, nourishing granola for your body.

Beth’s Cafe Baking Co.

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What could be better than freshly baked breads and sweets delivered right to your door? Seeing them arrive in delightful retro packaging. KTOM’s signature hand-drawn style brings a darling, small-town feel to the goodies that are then shipped off in the mail from 60+ year old Beth’s Cafe.

Of course, delivering items that are right out of the oven has its challenges—namely, how do you keep them fresh? Inside of each box, treats are wrapped for freshness with a Beth’s Cafe sticker on top. The result is practical but adds a little special something, perfect for those who want to experience their signature Amish Friendship Bread or brownies but can’t make it into the store itself.

Dessert Gallery Bakery & Cafe

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Dessert is the most important part of the day, after all. This adorable sweets stop seems just about perfect for any occasion: parties, weddings, mid-day snacks, and more. And while they have a variety offerings like cake, cookies, and cupcakes, Dessert Gallery’s approach is beautiful in its simplicity, much like a well-curated museum gallery. 

Although people of all ages could happily walk in and satisfy a sweet tooth, Dessert Gallery aims to make the act of eating dessert a relaxed, enjoyable moment that you savor. A simple yet memorable color palette, thoughtful hand-designed doodles and graphics, and a crisp appearance for both the brand identity and packaging make a visit to the shop an elevated dessert experience. The brand also packs a bit of personality, with phrases like, “Yes please,” and “Have your cake and eat it too” sprinkled into the mix.


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Pudding can go way beyond just chocolate and vanilla, as Arlingtons Gourmet Goodness proves. These mouthwatering tapioca and black rice puddings come in delicious, fresh flavors like passionfruit, coconut, and banana.

Arlingtons relies on bright and colorful illustrations of the fruits that are fun and lively, jumping out at customers with motion lines. Images look like they were taken right from an artist’s sketchbook, a reflection of the all natural, gluten free, and dairy free ingredients. Above the “g” in Arlingtons, two small budding leaves appear, communicating to customers that they are getting natural, fresh, and healthy food.


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Although new breweries are popping up everywhere, the brewing process is very much rooted in tradition. Obec’s design respects the history of beer brewing while attracting today’s craft beer lovers to their porter, IPA, and brown ale.

KTOM created three different designs for Obec, all of which set an authoritative tone for the beer. The beer, which is proudly brewed in the Pacific Northwest, looks appealing whether it’s using a classic font and images of wheat, soft colors to distinguish each variety, or unique drawings created with thin, precise lines. Utilizing the rich amber of the bottle, primarily black labels look strong and confident, a similarity to the nature of the hearty brews Obec offers.


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For those with dietary restrictions, clearly labeled foods in the grocery store are an absolute blessing. PaleoFolks easily distinguishes the food as gluten free, dairy free, and grain free, but simultaneously gets anyone excited about making some delicious cookies, cakes, or pancakes. 

Once again, the illustration style from KTOM is a strength in the packaging. The colors and drawings are beautifully imperfect, which is something anyone who bakes or cooks can relate to—even if a recipe is followed the same way twice, the results can always be a little different and unique. 

PaleoFolks also mixes fonts perfectly, using a tall, all-caps font, a cursive handwritten one, and a thinner one that almost looks like it was written with a pencil. This gives the brand a bit of energy and playfulness that feels well-suited for the modern and health-conscious kitchen.

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