Cafe Hot Wing 11
Rebranding a beloved local Atlanta restaurant
Visual Design, Branding, Experience Strategy & Design
The goal of this rebranding case study was to establish a strong brand identity that was recognizable and memorable using a playful and welcoming approach.
Brand styleguide, Product prototypes, Process
For this case study, I was tasked with rebranding any local business in Atlanta, GA. I chose the restaurant Cafe Hot Wing 11. It's a small restaurant located in the heart of Atlanta, GA that serves American classics like Philly cheesesteaks, wings, fried fish, and classic sandwiches. The restaurant is located amongst multiple other small businesses surrounding it and it has maintained a solid and recurrent customer base. I created a proposal for an updated branding which entailed an updated logo, color palette, menu and stationery, and an eventual exterior update as well.
Cafe Hot Wing 11 is a beloved restaurant in the heart of Atlanta, GA. My goal here was to establish a strong brand identity that was recognizable and memorable using a playful approach in their branding. Cafe Hot Wing 11 already has all the foundations of a successful restaurant and I believed a modern update would be the cherry on top to increase brand awareness and make this location memorable not only for its delicious food but also for its sleek modern updated branding.
I wanted to provide clarity and personality to this already existing brand and planned on an overhaul of the logo, an updated color palette, menu and stationery, and eventually an exterior update as well.
The Chicken Logo
This is the updated logo for the restaurant. I utilized a single stroke, kooky chicken mascot to start laying down the foundation for a design system that could be used throughout the rest of their branding. I used typefaces such as Bodoni and utilized differing type weights to give some contrast.
I also utilized a speech bubble effect to add to the community and personal aspect that the restaurant is already very successful in doing in their current blogging and branding.
This a proposed app icon for future brand expansions. The icon would be a negative or inverse version of the logo mascot and for any favicons, the mascot or this icon would most likely be used depending on legibility.
I am highly interested in complex and interesting folds and this was another area where I got to experiment with different innovative ideas.
I experimented with the chicken mascot and created a takeout menu that plays on the shape of its body. The mascot's body expands as the user opens it and contains a reveal of the contents. I chose this as the final design due to the playful and interactive nature.
I utilized the chicken mascot in the physical stationery. I wanted to establish the character of the brand and really cement the mascot into the consumer's mind.
I created a pattern for the back of the business letter using just the "eye" of the chicken mascot. Also to continue the "reveal" effect, for the business envelopes, I designed it so that the chicken mascot would essentially "pop-out" as the user opens the business envelope. For the business card, I referenced the newly redesigned logo to have the same speech bubble effect for each employee and their information.
This is the initial signup newsletter. The newsletter features a golden plate of hot wings and features an initial 20% off sign up code for their first meal purchase. The newsletter goes on to explain three different features and services that the business offers, "Order Online", "Wild Wing Flavors", "Explore Menu", by using the mascot in three different settings.
I created three different illustrations for the mascot to expand the mascot's branding and the consumer's understanding of the chicken logo and seeing it expand past the logo.
Social Media Campaign
For the digital social media campaign, I mocked up a Facebook page for the brand. Featured on the page is a "Wild Western" version of the mascot and features a discount code to entice consumers to follow the page.
Below the mockup are two different settings that the chicken mascot is featured in and are going to be utilized for future social media posts.
Interviews and Surveys
To get a better understanding of the overall brand awareness of the restaurant. I surveyed a sample of students who either attend the local university or people who have eaten at the restaurant itself. The restaurant also receives traction from local corporate workers.
Sample Interview Questions:
1. Have you ever eaten at this restaurant?
2. What is your general opinion about the overall branding (i.e. does the branding match their delicious food?)
3. What are some updates you would like to see with the branding of this business?
19 years old, University Student
"I love their food, but I didn't really know the name of the restaurant. I just know it as that chicken restaurant, but I would love to see a logo that makes them stick out more than just the term "Hot Wing".
22 years old, University Student
"I would love to see more modern branding that's refreshed with new colors and a friendlier logo. I think the branding can be improved to be more memorable to match their delicious food that's already present."
I began the process by creating a mood board for the overall branding and theme. I included pictures of various chicken mascots and illustrations and some exterior pictures for the physical restaurant itself.
I also experimented with different color palettes to see which ones complemented each other. I tried to stay in the warm tonal range due to the association with food that warm colors typically have for consumers and has been established by other food brands.
Chicken Logo Process
For the chicken logo process, I began with competitive analysis and being aware of other major chicken food branding that would look too similar. I tried out a variety of different logos, ones that had a mascot and others that were more simple wordmarks as well. I experimented with realistic chickens that were similar to the original branding and to more cartoonlike chicken mascots.
I decided on a simplified and minimal chicken that was easy to draw for anyone in a single stroke. I wanted it to be a symbol that could be drawn by a consumer.
These were my beginning sketches for the physical collateral pieces. I sketched out a few different menu ideas and tried to visualize how they would function in terms of logistics with the flap of the paper.
I also experimented with different ideas such as a coupon or punch card holder and making the menu more interactive and adding an additional keepsake.
These were the first sketches for the illustrations of the chicken brand expansion. I explored different themes like "angel" and "devil" and a bird in a tree.
I ended up going with the pilot and sky, astronaut, and cowboy themes and also tried out the balloon theme, for potential birthday deals to give to consumers.
These were my initial draft designs and after some more testing and some more iterations, I was able to narrow down the typographic composition and started focusing on creating a system that the type and layout could generally follow.
I also went through multiple different drawings and experimented a bit with the drawing style for the visual elements of the poster, alongside a few different color options I went through as well before deciding on the final fold, composition, and colors.
I learned a lot about creating a brand from start to finish and also how difficult it can be when creating a logo. As a designer, you have to be very mindful that a logo might look great in theory, but in actual application, you have to be conscious of already established brands and competition.
I also enjoyed the experience of experimenting with different innovative menu ideas for collateral but also keeping in mind the logistics and costs for a small business in real-world applications.