Williams-Sonoma is a legendary brand. The company’s stores are hallowed ground for chefs of all styles. Their people are experts in all things cooking. Founded by Chuck Williams in 1956, what was once a small storefront in Sonoma, California, is now an international retail giant.

the call

We need a way to get information to our store associates that they’ll read. 

the solve

We knew a few things about the store associates working at Williams-Sonoma. They loved Williams-Sonoma and cooking, first of all. Secondly, they loved sharing that information with anyone that came into their store. 

Most importantly, we knew that the associates read magazines like Food & Wine, Saveur, Martha Stewart Living, and the like. In other words, they loved amazing photography, clean design, and casual but knowledgeable content. 

So, we set out to create a concept with a look and tone. We launched under the name Connoisseur. (Side note: If you have trouble spelling a word, make sure you have to type it 25 times a month. It helps.)

Connoisseur showcased all the great things about Williams-Sonoma—cookware collections, recipes, and the people. We communicated Corporate initiatives, interviewed Chuck Williams, and talked about the company’s history. 

Eight years in, it was time for a refresh in look, tone, and approach. We renamed and rebranded Pantry, approached the design and content more directly, and changed the size from standard to tabloid. 

In addition to producing the monthly newsletter, WSI Corporate asked us to develop a print newsletter to support the company’s long-term relationship with St. Jude and the annual Thanks & Giving campaign. We created a unique approach for Thanks & Giving that shined a spotlight on high-performing associates, offered helpful information, and communicated company-wide goals.

The Connoisseur, Pantry, Canvas (a short-lived print newsletter for the hold everything concept), and Thanks & Giving project ran for 13 years.

jazz hands