Hildegard's bakery is the newly opened urban home for Integrity Foods, a family farm based in Riverton known across Manitoba's food scene for its line of organic food products and breads. Like at the Farm, Hildegard's bakes organic, ancient grain, fresh-milled breads and pastries in a wood-fired brick oven without the use of commercial yeast and preservatives. They're also bring the renowned baked pizzas that the farm is known for into the city.
Branding and design-wise, Integrity Foods has always walked the tightrope between family-owned down to earth familiarity in person and a cosmopolitan touch on their website and branding and labelling.
The new bakery's namesake, St. Hildegard of Bingen, was known for proto-feminist thinking and her contribution to medieval wisdom on baking, cultivation, and natural healing. The owner/operators, Judith and David Newsom, wanted to hybridize a look halfway between Parisian cafe and something vaguely medieval.
After trying a number of approaches, the "h" logo was decided upon. It combines a more traditionally calligraphic "H" with a myriad of clustered symbols that could be either loaves or leaves all locked inside of a more formal box. Symbolically it is an analogue for the cafe - a relatively geometric and modern space that contains within it things both natural and made by human hands.
The solid alternative is used whenever the logo is printed on glass or reflective surfaces so that the details are not lost in reflections or objects directly behind the glass.
The logo text is set in Caudex, a typeface created by designer and programmer Hjort Nidudsson for the Medieval Unicode Font Initiative in the 1990s. It was designed primarily for setting medieval scripts as well as some older greek texts. But it also happens to look good as a bakery logo!
As for the rest of the brand, the halfway point between modern and down to earth was naturally a mix of printed menu elements and written chalk sections. The blocky quirky san serif you see on the menus and on the windows is Sen, a remarkably playful geohumanist sans-serif typeface by Kosal Sen that evokes the British stateliness of Gill Sans while smuggling in quirks in abundance. Accompanying it is a simple cursive any employee of the bakery could render nicely with patience and just a little bit of practice.
Over the course of the next year, the cafe will be intentionally adding more plaques and writeups on the baking process and on its patron saint, Hildegard von Bingen. For these applications, I chose Number 23 by the Hanken Type Foundry, an incredibly bizarre but intriguing serif with etherial medieval qualities to it. It manages to pack some of the qualities of Plantin or Times with the proportion and opulence of Baskerville. The only physical piece currently sporting Number 23 is a plaque near the counter that provides a summary of the life of St. Hildegard and her significance to medieval horticulture, baking, and natural healing. However, the typeface also works as a webfont, and you can see it as the main body type alongside Sen on the bakery's website.
The utterly beautiful and gradual explosion of plant life in the space is the wonderful work of