Featured image for Channel Your Inner Julia Child with Great Jones Cookware

Channel Your Inner Julia Child with Great Jones Cookware

by Casha Doemland on 05/02/2019 | 4 Minute Read

When it comes to shopping for your first apartment, and you realize that you're tired of living off microwavable meals, it's time to invest in some adult cookware. The only issue here is you're stuck in a catch-22 of finding something within your budget that is also of high enough quality that lasts longer than a year and still looks good on your stovetop.

Unwilling to settle for these odds, lifelong friends Maddy Moelis and Sierra Tishgart founded Great Jones, a luxurious and stylish cookware collection whose name pays homage to cookbook author and editor Judith Jones as well as the iconic New York City street.

Currently, Great Jones offers five pieces of cookware chosen by chefs, cookbook authors, and various pros to grant you the most versatility in the kitchen to prepare any meal without breaking the bank or worrying about storage for those residing in small, studio apartments.

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“Our cast-iron enameled Dutch oven, The Dutchess, is perfect for roasting a chicken," starts Tishgart. "Our ceramic Small Fry is great for eggs and pancakes, while our fully-clad stainless steel products like Saucy and Big Deal are perfect for boiling pasta and rice, or searing a steak and getting a high concentration of flavor — called fond.”

While Tishgart, a former food editor and James Beard Award winner, and Moelis who is no stranger to startup culture, had the experience and talent to produce the cookware, neither had the background in graphic design to execute the branding and packaging they'd envisioned.

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And that's where they made their first real investment in the company, seeking out branding agency Pentagram, and working with multidisciplinary designer and partner Emily Oberman and her dream team of Todd Goldstein, Laura Berglund, Lorenzo Fanton and Sarah Corey to help bring the Great Jones vision to reality.

"From our first meeting, Emily emotionally connected with what we were trying to create," says Tishgart. "Emily very much understood that Great Jones was our baby, and we worked collaboratively together; at one point, we were even going into their office twice a week with a ton of ideas."

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Concurrently, they were designing the packaging and branding for the company and landed on a style inspired by vintage 60s and 70s cookbooks due to the heartwarming nostalgia it evoked. They also decided to use charming names for the cookware like Dutchess, Big Deal and Small Fry.

As a collective, they discovered jewel-tone vintage colors, lush illustrations and witty messaging were the right fit to differentiate Great Jones from other cookware products and brands on the market as most had a more minimalistic approach.

“We wanted to pair the idea of these clean, elegant and beautiful pieces of cookware with something that felt really handsome, and that’s when we brought illustration into the process,” states Oberman. “We looked at all different kinds of illustrations from more simplistic to a little more quirky.”

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Illustrator Emma Dibben hopped board as both Tishgart and Oberman felt a connection to her drawings. Upon seeing how her work complemented the product, both throughout the website and on the packaging, Tishgart and Moelis felt like their stainless steel products would now have a modern feel with Dibben's soft and warm illustrations of roast chicken, garlic and more bringing the products to life somehow.

The logo font, a rendition of serif Bookmania, extended the vintage vibes and created a feel they featured throughout all of the products-they're even engraved in the bottom of the cookware and on the lids.

The next step was to determine the substrate for the packaging, which proved to be a challenge as cookware is heavy. Plus, Tishgart and Moelis wanted to avoid excess packaging and contributing more waste to the planet.  As such, their solution involved playing around with different types of materials from the packing peanuts that dissolve in water, which only proved to increase the size of the packaging, to strategically stacking the items in cardboard for a more compact look and feel. 

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This also sparked the idea of packaging the collection in an illustrated stove top, a whimsical touch for the agency and brand as they imagined little stove tops sitting on people’s doorsteps.  Even the website and social campaigns had a playful feel; when shoppers go to the site and hover over the pan, the lid is opened, revealing an illustration of what you could make with their cookware.

“For social media, we came up with a bunch of ideas, they then took upon themselves to deliver in style,” states Oberman. “We started by photoshopping their pots and pans onto the covers of 70s cookbooks. It’s very subtle, but it's something you can see it in the earlier days if you creep back far enough. The Small Fry can be seen frying eggs on Betty Crocker’s Cookbook and Meals for Two.”

At the end of it all, Pentagram and Great Jones created a one-of-a-kind experience for the those looking to spice up their kitchen life and say goodbye to hot pockets and pizza rolls. Not only is the packaging a replica of an adorable mini stove, but the cookware inside is stylish and affordable, perfect for anyone looking to channel their inner Julia Child or David Chang.

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