During the almost 2 years that I worked on the Whole Food Market regional marketing team, we opened 10 new stores in cities all across Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. When Whole Foods opens a store in a new market or one that's really special, they like to create a reusable shopping bag that celebrates the city or region and is used at a lot of media events.
It was always a joy to design these bags because not only did I get a lot of creative freedom, but I also got to tell a story about the city.
The Austin Bag
This was the first bag I designed and I took it as an opportunity to do some hand-drawn illustrations of famous Austin landmarks. I did drawings of several different types of landmarks (architecture, statues, famous eateries) but the buildings and the 360 bridge ended up having the most visual appeal. Also, I was really into vintage travel illustrations and maps so I used a street map of downtown as a background texture.
The Houston Bag
I had much tighter deadlines on this bag and therefore decided hand-drawing illustrations would not be the best choice. Also, this bag was launched at the opening of a Whole Foods Market in a high-end area of Houston, so I felt it needed to have cleaner lines but I still wanted it to be fun and colorful.
The Lafayette Bag
Our Lafayette store was the first in the Acadiana region of Louisiana and we wanted to celebrate the colorfulness of the culture and history. In researching the area, I discovered that zydeco originated here and that lead me to some really amazing Basquiat pieces (see the mood board). I was also very inspired by images of swamps, colorful houses and a lot of the local art I was seeing.
I was so drawn to the really colorful artwork I was finding, I decided to bring my acrylic paints to work and painted various textures and items (like the accordion). Once the paint dried, I scanned everything into my computer and after tweaking some things in Photoshop, I pulled all the pieces together in Illustrator. I combined pieces of landscape that I hand-painted with vector illustrations and tweaked things a little further with a wacom tablet. The end result was something I and my team were really happy with and I was so excited to see these bags in store.