To offer a local escape from the urban lifestyle, I needed to establish the positioning, market, attributes, big business idea, alongside market research and a competitive audit to ensure a clear brand strategy. The objective of this Branding class initiated project was to take an element from a previous project and create a new brand identity from that element. I chose a basic triangular pattern from a Graphic Design one course and developed it into a full branding system for a campfire cuisine restaurant.
This was a project that I was able to work on from conceptualization through completion. I carefully went through the branding process where every little detail was thought of, and intentional, to advance the brand strategy. My first priority was to conduct research, to fully understand Atlas: its mission, positioning, market, attributes, competitive advantage, marketing strategies, and possible weaknesses with this brand moving forward. The second phase was to clarify my strategy to strengthen the brand. Once my analysis was complete, I was able to move into the design process to create a solid brand identity with a unique visual language that can express itself across all applications. Creating touch points gave further opportunities for refinement and design development. The final phase was managing assets to ensure continued growth. None of these phases can be skipped or overlooked. I slowly and thoroughly went through every phase until it was the right time to proceed to the next.
The challenge of this project was to ensure a consistent brand strategy across all touch points. Equally as challenging was to find a clear, coherent way to manage the brand assets.
- Create a clear brand identity that can be seen on a wide variety of touch points
- Brand book with standards and guidelines to manage the consistency and integrity of the brand identity system
- Organize information that’s easily accessible to all internal and external partners who have a responsibility to communicate about the brand
I’ve always had an interest in restaurant branding and the hospitality industry. I took full advantage of the project’s wide parameters and freedom for following our passions and chose a theme that I could envision myself working on long past the deadline. I wanted to play a key role in developing a company’s values, culture, and one-of-a-kind experiences for the customer through my creative designs, as well as implementation of my stylistic choices to connect with them emotionally. I wanted the brand strategy to become irreplaceable, and create lifelong customer relationships that can only be felt with the brand experience for Atlas.
My research started by completing a competitive audit to examine the competition of similar restaurants. I then established the brand’s positioning which also included the mission statement, market, attributes, and BBI.
Atlas combines our love of the outdoors with our passion for incredible food. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t happen without you. The foodie, the outdoor enthusiast and stargazer: Welcome Home.
Atlas is an outdoor restaurant open for dinner by reservation only featuring an open-style kitchen serving contemporary campfire cuisine.
Atlas’s market is males and females between the ages of 21-54. Their demographic is ethnically diverse, educated, with a middle to high class socioeconomic status. The millennial segment of the audience lives and works in urban areas. They love new, trendy restaurants and care about the experience just as much as the food. The Generation X demographic of this restaurant still has very active social lives and like to stay current on new trends to make them feel lively. They are retired and frequently go out to eat.
Big Business Idea
My design process started with myself conceptualizing an idea for a unique restaurant, here in San Diego, that offers its audience a transformative experience that combines their love for the outdoors, as well as great food. I began looking through my old projects in my early undergraduate design classes to uncover graphic elements that could transform into my vision. Once this was found, I began my preliminary digital sketches that consisted of me deconstructing the original shape, moving elements around, and exploring new arrangements.
After many iterations and class critiques, I had my black and white main mark. I began divergent thinking and writing down name associations with the outdoors and camping.
Once my main mark was established, I developed mark variations such as typographic, letterform, typographic with a tagline, and pictorial. I then began experimenting with different primary and secondary typefaces. I wanted a sans serif typeface that would mirror the triangular and sharp angles in the mark as the primary typeface. The secondary typeface is equally as important because it needs to work well across all brand touch points, both print and web.
Atlas’s audience needs a consistent brand strategy that is shown in all brand touchpoints, photo treatments, stationery, mark variations, color palettes, typography, user interfaces and promotional materials. Our BBI is “Welcome Home.” We want the customer to always have the same positive experience at our restaurant. Our brand attributes can be seen and felt in all brand aspects. Our audience wants to feel like they can get away for the weekend, without leaving the city, for that escape. Atlas has the power, through their consistent brand, to always ensure a one-of-a-kind experience.