Being from the Northeast, there is one things I know: Pizza. I can’t even count how many pizza shops I’ve eaten at over my life time. There’s one on every corner owned by the same families for generations. Unfortunately, those shops all have the same menu with a “give them every option” attitude that’s kept them in the kitchens and away from growth and expansion. What’s missing? A brand strategy and a little bit of guts to go against the status quo. Enter Five Points Pizza (designed by Stevaker.) Here is an unexpected brand for a pizza shop. It’s new. It’s modern. It’s fun. It’s NOT BLATANTLY ITALIAN. I’m liking this pizza shop’s identity because it breaks convention. It visually speaks the brand’s name without being complicated. It’s simple to visually digest, but different enough to stand out. This is the direction a pizza shop needs to go with the brand. Combined with a smaller, more focused menu and you could start seeing a streamlined business.

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The O Group‘s branding for Ai Fiori is a experimentation with flourishes that do not over do it. They are accoutrements that accent and add to the brand’s visual vibe in a quaint, but powerful way. From the restaurant’s stationery through its menus and down to the logo itself, the Ai Fiori identity is a meld of modern and classic style.

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I’ve worked with many clients in an outside of the restaurant industry. One thing that i’ve noticed is that the term “branding” gets thrown around more than a baseball without much understanding for what “branding” really entails. The fact is, it’s not about redesigning your logo. That’s not even the beginning, the end or the majority of what happens.

I had a client who’s restaurant was failing. When I say “failing,” I mean six figures failing and the year wasn’t even over. Their response to this failure was to rearrange the current menu, up the pricing, load it up with a bunch of new dishes and put it in front of an unsuspecting customer. The true failure here was not seeing the root of the problems: weak concept from start to finish; including the brand identity. They weren’t SERIOUS about their restaurant’s brand and what it meant. Heck, they didn’t even know what their restaurant’s brand was/is!

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Here’s a huge update for Friday. This upscale restaurant’s identity was developed by Commune. The brand is absolute luxury through and through. From the handwritten script logotype to the thick “slash” brand mark, the restaurant’s brand is simple, poignant, and clean. I imagine the cuisine follows suit. I especially love the black washed wood for the menu holder. The business cards take a new direction with a unique fold that mimics the brand mark. The entire brand identity design was thought out and nothing left to chance. This is the epitome of a solid branding implementation.

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The packaging design for the American Brewing Company is definitely fresh and exciting. Usually breweries opt for the traditional and old fashioned identities that hail to the craft’s long history. Lately, some have been pushing the envelope. With the help of Taphandles, American Brewing Company has done just that. I especially love the tap handle designs in this small set.

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I honestly thought I had covered this work before, but after searching through my own blog, realized I didn’t. Foreign Policy Design Group put together this quaint, but amazing identity for Table No. 1. Marked by a witty business card design (that folds into a table), the restaurant’s identity is decidedly rustic and rough; it’s raw. It’s congruent with the vibe and experience as well as the cuisine. This one is dead on. Thanks to CreativeSprk for reminding me that I didn’t cover this.

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Part of building a restaurant’s brand experience isn’t just about the interior color palette or furniture. The experience can be accentuated with wall art that is supportive of the brand and it’s tone. Fine art for an upscale restaurant and kitschy illustrations for this tasty taqueria. These illustrations are fun, new and add so much to the experience. Designed and illustrated by Steve Hamaker.

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The bakery branding for Pan Pan Atelier, by Rocio Martinaverro, is marked by a braided pattern remniscent of wheat seeds and the braiding of bread. In the designer’s words:

Contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional ear of wheat, the basic ingredient of bread to form a pattern that is easily recognizable. The chevron pattern also reminds of antique artisan techniques such as woven esparto baskets, used to display the bread, or opus spicatum, redefined in the interior design of PanPan bakeries.

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The team at Urban Influence did a bang up job on this branding for a BBQ joint. Using the animal silhouettes is a nice touch on being suggestive, but not 100% blatant. Visual and verbal puns tie the pieces together with a campy tone while the color palette isn’t directly cliche for a BBQ restaurant. The brand is fun, rustic and inviting.

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Yea, it’s another hotel, but the work is top notch and worth showcasing. The Hotel Excelsior Latin in Paris was designed by Fabien Barrel (most notably from Graphic Exchange). His work is an amazing exploration in layers, colors and illustrations that end up in an extremely tactical, robust look. Truly unique. His branding work for the Hotel Excelsior is a prime example of this style in action as applied through the Hotel’s many touch points.

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Although it’s a hotel, the entire entity houses a restaurant and the brand that surrounds it is very well done. It ties the experience together from soup to nuts. Boy Burns Barn has brought the brand’s identity to the forefront throughout all touch points. The chartreuse is vibrant and modern. The zig zag pattern is sewn throughout the materials. All bundled up, it’s cohesive and strong.

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A fun bar and grill brand for Loggers, by Concussion. This one is great because it’s highly illustrative, but fun. There’s a hidden axe element in there, some plaid, who can’t love it?

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The brand identity for Country Restaurant is eclectic to say the least. It breaks convention in a good way. With the overlaying “C” formations in contrasting colors you get the feeling of uniqueness, different, interesting, etc. The identity is built upon with this vibrant meets muted color palette throughout the restaurant’s materials. The Mucca design website explains the angle:

In a restaurant, where you have a captive audience, it’s unnecessary to display the name of the venue everywhere, so we took the opportunity to create a dynamic system where the logo changes on each application. We used multiple letterforms, overlapping the “C” of Country to create 30-something distinct logos, so it can be visibly displayed without ever feeling overused. Using interesting printing details such as die-cutting, overprinting, and metallic inks gave the logo a rich, tactile feel that adds to the experience of the cuisine.


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Yeah, not a restaurant, but food related and that’s close enough for me. This is a school project by William Hastings. Everything from the color palette to the graphic treatments ties this brand identity together nicely.

 

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Club fliers are usually extremely gaudy and use a typical modern typeface that you’ve seen everywhere else. I came across these fliers/posters for the club Havana and felt they were such a breath of fresh air. They have a strong focal point and message. They aren’t afraid to employ a page hierarchy. They have white space that allows the piece to breathe and communicate. Great work by Face.

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Comprehensive upscale brand for a benefit night by Bell, called La Vittoria (designed by LG2 Boutique.) Personally, I think the use of gold can be often times gaudy and annoying. However, they seem to pull it off well with gold foil stamp accoutrements mixed with strong black and white design elements. This branding package is tied together nicely with every element extending the brand’s vibe.

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This is a smaller brand identity for a bagel shop. It’s a lot of fun though with good use of a two color palette and leveraging the bag material as a third color. The illustrations are fun as they use classic style, in a modern, fun way. Designed by Patrick Macomber of South Yall.

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Saba foodstore’s brand is a coupling of natural paper and materials with bright magenta pop. It’s vibrant without being too bright and stark. It’s natural without being boring. Designed by Creative Inc.

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