This nods back to when gin was made and tubs and Jazz was at its prime. Men were men and women were women. A simpler time when if you got caught sneaking a drink, you’d be arrested. What an amazing study in classic, retro design. The Landing’s marketing and advertising were designed by Jamie Stolarski. […]

Fresh from the farm is a concept that’s been trending and taking off. I think as gas prices increase, this will become bigger and bigger as it will be more cost efficient, not to mention it’s already healthier and tastier. The Barn is a restaurant whose brand was designed by And Smith. The vibe is rustic with old-style illustrations and wonderful leather-bound menus. The layouts are simple and black and white. These elements keep it classy without going full luxury. Here’s what he says about the work:

An informal restaurant at Coworth Park, The Barn offers exceptional seasonal fare courtesy of acclaimed chef John Campbell and his team. The identity we created for The Barn distinguishes it from the hotel’s fine dining restaurant whilst retaining the Coworth Park look and feel. A bold logotype in a rectangular frame evokes a rustic, traditional tone reminiscent of agricultural ‘brands’. This was combined with eccentric illustrations (animal heads attached to human bodies), sophisticated typography and warm, organic materials such as wood and brown leather.

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Again, not necessarily a restaurant, but food related nonetheless. The branding and packaging design for Burgen, all natural bread, nails the target dead on. The golden colors bring forth imagery of grain and natural ingredients that stand out on a shelf. Designed by Ziggurat Brands, they have this to say:

Burgen bread looked like you needed a prescription from you doctor to buy it. Worthy and dull, it was ‘healthy’ in the sense that if it’s painful it must be doing you good. Truth be told, it’s really delicious and by giving it vitality, highlighting flavour and revealing how it harnesses the power of natural ingredients, we made it look both mouth-watering and good for you…

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When you start talking to a social media guru it’s easy to get lost in the jargon. The epicenter of any social media marketing effort lies with Facebook. It’s proliferation is immense and not up for argument (although some try.) Just posting your facebook page for your restaurant is the right move, but, like anything else, you can always do better and more to interact with your customers. And that’s exactly why you should be using social marketing: to interact with your customers.

Beyond commenting and posting, facebook has other ways to kick up the marketing a notch or two. One of my favorite is based on FBML which stands for FaceBook Markup Language. It allows you to create custom tabs on your facebook page for promoting different items. These tabs can be used as landing pages to do many things. First you have to install it. Here is a great tutorial on installing and using FBML.

Once installed, you need to figure out what to promote. Here are a few suggestions on promoting your restaurant and its features using FBML and other facebook apps.

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I stumbled across this coffee shop design for a small coffee roaster and retailer in Tokyo, Japan. There wasn’t a ton of information on who designed the actual quaint location, but it’s an amazing study in how minimalism can speak so much louder than bright colors and graphics. The coffee stand is simply designed with black and white typography and lines. It’s simplicity lets the textures, shapes and lighting do the work. Less is more and this is prove. Very zen-like.

If you’re the designer, please comment with your information.

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The Cy’s Tavern menu design takes the direction of strong multi-column layout, peppered with traditional, classic shapes to accent various areas. It’s clean and easy to read through. The brand itself pulls from highly illustrative and geometric styles akin to the heraldry found on currency. Great design by Kyle Poff.

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Found this one while researching restaurants for a new concept I’m developing. I like the quick handed sketch feel and the interesting take on the name. Strong reds and warm colors bring out the vibrancy and action. Designed by Kudio while at Fabio Ongarato Design.

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It’s that time of year again. The time when Bill Gardner of LogoLounge reviews the trends seen in logo design for 2011. Color is playing a huge role, much like last year. This time, though, the colors are tinted and more subdued. Beyond that, it’s also noted that the traditional thought of logos is transcending: […]

The studio Hatch is widely known across the US if not the world for great design. Their branding work for Specialtys is no exception. Simple, illustrative and strong. There’s just a touch of classic/traditional vibe to it but stays modern. The strong green/brown color palate touts its earthiness and sets the bar for a fresh experience.

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Food trucks are taking off and they’ve come a long way from your run off the mill dumpster on wheels. Now you can get a gourmet meal right out of these babies. I just wanted to show off some pretty rad looking truck concepts in this post, so here you go!

Food Trucks offer an amazing opportunity to blend branding, vehicle graphics and design. Will the ability to fully wrap a truck (or converted postal truck in some cases) the options are limitless. These mobile culinary wonders have designs that range from janky to luxury, illustrative to typographic, vibrant to subdued and run the gamut of everything in between.

NOTE: If you are the photographer of any of these images, or the designer of any of these trucks please comment with your information. It’s easier that way. If you’re pissed that I used a photo without permission … let me know and I’ll stop the free publicity for you.

Couldn’t resist putting in my favorite truck. It’s also featured in my upcoming book, Fire It Up: Building Restaurant Brands That Blaze.

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Here’s a little morning pick-me-up. The packaging design for Dogwood Coffee Co. is excellent. Designed by Holmberg Design, the packaging utilizes a number of finishing techniques that make it pop. Use of die-cuts and embossing add extra effects while budget it salvaged using only one color, rubber stamped as needed and printing on sticker stock so the whole package doesn’t need converting. Good use of print finishing techniques can make materials pop and give it the unique flair you want.

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Theurel & Thomas is an upscale dessert shop serving gourmet macaroons. The brand identity for this luxury-level dessert experience was designed by Anagrama. The branding is clean, fresh, crisp. It’s stark and minimal which allows the vibrant splashes of color to pop and stand out. The traditional style typography keeps things looking like a luxury brand while setting the expectation for the brand experience overall.

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I wish I had more photos of this one, but here it is nonetheless. El Amigo Meat Market’s brand identity was designed by Imagineria. The logo is an awesome display of retro-style sign design with a graphic illustration of El Amigo himself (I think.) I love the rough, earthy textures in combination with the bright and dark reds, obviously derived from the cuts of meat.

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Everyone seems to be launching their own clone, or rival, to Groupon’s system. Living Social has been around just as long, but is secondary to Groupon in adoption and use. The latest, and the biggest threat, is Facebook.

Facebook plans to launch it’s deals clone Tuesday in five major cities: San Diego, San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas and Austin, Texas. What makes it a threat to Groupon and LivingSocial is its built in immense social reach.

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I’m posting this project despite its small amount of photos to display how a simple sticker can be extended and repurposed across multiple pieces thereby extending the branded elements themselves. This is a great technique when budget is low, but impact must still be high (and when should impact be at a max?) The Cornish Mill & Bakehouse brand identity is simple. It’s black and white and uses historical symbolism as the core of the identity. It’s simplicity makes for a clean identity that makes the actual food itself, pop and speak. A great design by Buddy Creative.

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Google has impeded on yet another market: Daily Deals. The Daily Deals phenomenon has been pioneered by Groupon and Living Social. While the effects and returns are argued by many restaurant owners, they still exist and patrons love them.

Offers is beta launched in three US cities: New York, Portland and San Fransisco Bay areas. Not sure about the choices, but New York definitely seems like a good option. Hey! Where’s Atlanta? We’re one of the most socially networked cities in the US!

Anyway, what can we expect?

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Let’s go upscale this morning! This is an brand identity for ALTO, an upscale Italian restaurant experience in NY. The logo is quite interesting as it uses the shaded space instead of the flat surface to give it a 3-d effect. The rest of the identity is simple and clean. United is the brains behind this one.

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