The Mar Vista Farmers Market has received a facelift after nearly three years in existence.
A new logo created by students at the Santa Monica-based Arts Institute was unveiled at the market on March 1st during a ceremony that included members of the market’s board of directors, Mar Vista residents and City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
The design by David Rivero depicts an ear of corn between the words “Mar Vista Farmers Market,” against a white background.
Aprons with the new logo were given to the various vendors at the market.
Rivero’s artwork was chosen among 70 entries from students at the Arts Institute, said Andrew Basmajian, a member of the marketplace’s board of directors.
“It was really gratifying seeing the process among the students as they researched the history of Mar Vista, including its demographics, to create a logo for the farmers market,” Basmajian said.
Rosendahl, who also donned an apron and took photographs with Rivero, feels that the new design has given the market a definite identity.
“It’s become more than just a farmers market,” said the councilman, who lives in Mar Vista. “It’s become a community meeting place, and I applaud the Mar Vista Community Council for making it a valuable part of democracy in Mar Vista.”
Rob Kadota, who chairs the local advisory council, thinks that the new logo is a welcome addition to the outdoor market, which will have its third anniversary in August.
“It’s clean, it’s bright, and I think it captures the motif of the market. I like it,” Kadota told The Argonaut. “I especially like the fact that it was designed by local students at the Art Institute, and that’s what farmers markets are about — homegrown community and homegrown designs.
“So it brings that concept together well.”
Basmajian thinks that the Art Institute was a good place to solicit designs for the market, based on his knowledge of its work in Santa Monica.
“The Art Institute has a long history of collaborating with Santa Monica on graphic identities,” said Basmajian, a Del Rey resident who works as a coordinator in Santa Monica’s office of Sustainability & the Environment.
Richard Khanbabians, a graphic design instructor at the institute, echoed Basmajian’s earlier comments on the students’ dedication to their project.
“I was impressed by the students’ interest in the subject and the market itself,” said the design teacher. “As an instructor, I required my students to observe the market first-hand and do demographic and historical research on the area prior to developing concepts for the branding.
“Through the process, we were able to determine that figs, lima beans, and corn had been farmed in Mar Vista extensively, and that is part of Mar Vista’s legacy.”
The new design seemed to be well accepted by those who are affiliated with the outdoor market.
Diana Rodgers, the manager at the marketplace, believes that the logo will give the market a fresh look.
“It just gives us a moment to celebrate where we are, and giving it a new brand was something that we thought we should do,” Rodgers said.
Rachel Flores and Bill Waiste displayed their new aprons as they stood behind their booth, P.O.P. Candy. Flores and Waiste, who are business partners, both feel that the new logo gives an extra boost to the overall culture of the market.
“It’s very relevant,” Flores said. “It has an updated, relevant look.”
Giving the open-air market an identity was a prevailing theme among the market’s board members.
“As our market has grown and become part of the community, we decided to work towards a new identity for it,” said Ian Votteri, a board member of the farmers market. “We are a farmers market and our goal is to promote local produce, so it was a natural tie-in for us to involve local students and artists.”
Merchants also feel that the logo gives the market certain individuality.
“The logo really gives the market an identity,” said Waiste. “Most farmers markets don’t have a real identity, they just kind of come and go, but this one has an identity now that you can put on T-shirts and aprons.”
“It’s hip,” Flores added. “And the logo speaks to that hip, cool vibe of the market.”
Like Rosendahl, Rodgers feels that the local residents have been essential in transforming the marketplace into an important part of the Mar Vista community.
“The community has really embraced this market and really supported it, and they’re why it’s doing so well,” Rodgers said. “A lot of the farmers that we have here have told me that this is their favorite market, because of our customers.”
Both Waiste and Flores have worked at other farmers markets, and they think that the Mar Vista market has a special atmosphere.
“The cool thing about the Mar Vista Farmers Market is that it has a great eclectic group of people,” said Flores. “You hear that all the time, but here you really see a lot of families, young singles and seniors as well.
“It’s really a great place to have a booth.”