Melissa McFeeters and Lucy Price: the Creative Brains Behind TTW's Makeover
August 17, 2021
Months ago, during a particularly hard-quar Philadelphia winter, it was a joy to watch the evolution of Tuft the World’s new look. Every few days, our staff would gather to ooh and ahh over sample graphics by local design collaborators Melissa McFeeters and Lucy Price: bright canary-yellow logos and wavy, puzzle-piece lettering that capture the energy and playfulness of Tuft the World as a company, and the art of tufting itself. Later, when the first redesigned packing materials arrived in our warehouse, we couldn’t wait to slap stickers on every outgoing order, and to seal up boxes with the prettiest tape to ever grace cardboard. Maybe it was a coincidence, but for the first time ever, a whole day passed without a single one of our tape machines jamming.
Melissa and Lucy were an obvious choice to helm Tuft the World’s rebrand. As a multi-talented and newly-formed Philadelphia team, not only do they bring over a decade of individual experience in graphic design, illustration, and art direction, but they also share Tuft the World’s values and versatility. “A visual identity is so much more than a logo,” Melissa explains. “As a set of products, services, and a community, Tuft the World has so many great opportunities for brand expression.”
As we continue to bask in the afterglow of our makeover, we wanted to take a minute to share some thoughts from Melissa and Lucy on the process behind this project.
What do you hope Tuft the World's new look communicates?
Melissa: We are so awed by the creativity that we see in the tufting community, and we knew straight away that the visual identity should reflect that vibrancy. One thing that stood out to us early on was the overall strength of the tufting community, so we decided that this could be a dynamic logo suite—rather than one static logo—to better represent the wide variety of tufters and tufting styles.
Were there particular elements of Tuft the World's ethos or aesthetic that you hoped to capture in your design choices?
Melissa: We had a pretty clear directive from both Tim and his team that the brand should be colorful, which comes as no surprise if you've ever met Tim! So the challenge was to create a fun, playful brand that could hold its own against the maximalism of a full-color, tufted rug without being overpowering.
Lucy: We also were really inspired by the sustainability themes within the company and the products themselves. But we don't believe that sustainability or environmentalism should necessarily have a distinct aesthetic, so we wanted to make sure the designs do their part to highlight those values through messaging, rather than through a certain "look."
Did anything specific (related or unrelated to tufting) inspire you during the design process?
Lucy: A lot of what you'll see in the brand is directly inspired by the tufting process. Our first round of sketches was full of tufts, poofs, fringe, and waviness—there are so many visual motifs you can play with when you're referencing yarn or rugs! At one point we were considering an existing typeface that had a strong wavy edge, but it wasn't quite right, so we created custom lettering for the TUFT in the logo.
Melissa: That really became the basis for a lot of playfulness in the brand. The palette was influenced by the yarn colors, the shapes of the logo badges represent the endless variety of rug shapes, and the hand-drawn doodles and annotations are inspired by the creative process of an artist. And the fringed globe icon based on the name basically made itself!
You bring so much thoughtfulness and enthusiasm to your projects. What else have you been excited about working on recently?
Melissa: Thank you! We each try really hard to take on projects that align with our values, which makes it so much easier to engage with the work and have fun creatively. Lucy and I just collaborated on designs for a book about things you can do in nature in the Pacific Northwest. And I'm working on a few other book-related projects at the moment, including a continuation of the Campfire Stories series and deck, which should be fun.
Lucy: About a year ago, I designed a brand for Better Civics, a non-profit aimed at revolutionizing civic engagement and voter participation. Better Civics mission is to create dynamic educational resources to better explain how government works and to encourage individuals to be more civically engaged. I’m excited to bring Melissa on board with me to collaborate on new projects for the organization in the coming months.
Melissa McFeeters is an independent illustrator and graphic designer in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Maryland, she moved to Philadelphia to attend Tyler School of Art, where she received her BFA in graphic design. After several years working as an in-house designer, she’s currently a full-time freelancer working on branding, publication design, infographics and illustration from her studio in Fishtown.
Lucy Price is a graphic designer and art director specializing in the development of dynamic brand identities for non-profits and mission-based organizations. Previous clients include Fairmount Park Conservancy, the Center for Architecture and Design, and Fleisher Art Memorial. When she’s not designing, you can find her tending to her houseplants, brainstorming house renovation ideas, or thrifting for old treasures.