Featured Project: The Ruby Company

Brand Strategy & Positioning
Messaging Strategy
Website Design & Development

Established in 1966, The Ruby Company (formerly Ruby Robinson Produce) is one of the largest suppliers of fresh produce to national and regional grocery chains, restaurants, and distributors across the country. Under the guidance of a new generation of leadership, the company found itself on the cusp of an exciting new era.

In addition to a company-wide revolution, how could their brand work harder to communicate, inspire, and lead the team into the future? The Ruby crew approached the One Design team for help.

Artifacts from the old Ruby Robinson Produce brand expression
Competitive marketplace trends—a monotonous sea of green

Standing tall in a field of green.

We get it. Food. Farming. Produce. The natural place to play is in that earthy space somewhere between craft paper, hand lettering, and a lemon-yellow sunrise cresting over the horizon. But where’s the vision? Where’s the attitude? We were getting that in spades from the folks at Ruby—so how could we tap design and language to bring that story to life?

Capturing the Ruby point of view

More blue collar than green thumb

Where to turn for inspiration? What about the industry’s roots in back-breaking work and long-haul trucking? A hardworking midwestern ethos? Mix all that with a dash of attitude, confidence, and a deliberate u-turn away from the expected, and an exciting new graphic language was born.

Whatever it takes

Seriously. Come hell or high water Ruby was committed to honoring their word, whatever it took. Bold language complemented the equally bold visual identity to support Ruby’s audacious vision and relentless work ethic.

What’s in a name?

A lot. History. Heritage. Tradition. And a little bit of baggage. Add to that a key competitor named Robinson Fresh (no relation, whatsoever), and a change was in order.

Say goodbye to Ruby Robinson, and hello to The Ruby Company (or Ruby for short).

Of course we couldn’t completely erase the past. The calligraphic sans we chose to anchor the brand was in fact Robinson from Commercial Type. Serendipity at its finest.

A website that works as hard as the Ruby team

Curious to know where your romaine lettuce comes from? How about iceberg? Or red leaf? Don’t like leafy greens? Let’s chat about where Ruby sources their apples, melons, and herbs. Do those sources change from January to July? And what’s the weather like in those towns?

Don’t worry, we got you. Introducing the all new rubycompany.com

In addition to helping the Ruby company, ahem, plant its roots online, we helped bring a little transparency to a fairly opaque industry—shedding light on product sourcing, origin, and more.

I think this is hands-down one of the best websites and strongest brand systems in the industry today.
Josh Wolff, Director of Growth & Strategy, The Ruby Company

The one that got away

Don’t get us wrong—we’re in love with the new Ruby Company brand. It was the right path to take. But every once in a while a design concept that falls by the wayside that holds a special place in our hearts. So in that spirit, the custom lettering and vintage Fulton Market vibe of this rejected concept deserves a little love…

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One Design Company is a research-driven design and development studio. For over a decade, we’ve explored the intersection of experience and technology—where powerful brands come to life. Want to learn more? Let’s chat.

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