A restaurant’s website isn’t unlike other websites in that it needs to serve a number of functions at the same time. There’s a collision of the User’s Wants, Brand Wants, and Functionality/Accessibility.
Flash brings motion to pages and that motion/animation gets people pumped up. Sure, at first brush it’s great, but then you run into the problems of functionality and user wants. I’ll go into detail in another post, but for now, lets list what a user wants from your restaurant website.
Michel Gorham designed this amazing restaurant brand identity for Bloomingdale’s FLIP burger restaurant. Funny that we have a FLIP already down here in Atlanta, but this was two years ago so maybe Bloomingdale’s didn’t get the memo.
She describes the project:
In 2009, Bloomingdale’s created a new burger restaurant on the men’s level in the NYC 59th St flagship store, calling it Flip. When asked for a logo design, it seemed the perfect opportunity to use a play on words instead of standard cow/grill iconography.
Finding many “flip” phrases surprisingly relevant, I suggested a complete branding system including:
menu, take-out menu, check presenter, coasters, promotional pins, newspaper ad and table top selection.
I’ve said it hundreds of times, but here is yet another instance where transparency rules. The fact is, if you try to hide the realities and truths about your restaurant, you’ll lose every time. People will find out. We’re natural explorers and discoverers. So, when in doubt about how something should be handled the rule of thumb is to be honest, be open, be transparent and don’t avoid it. The cover up is dead. Honesty is the best policy.
Today on SmartBlogs for restaurants, they have a case study posted about Panera Bread’s take on labeling and pending legislation requiring it. Panera has mostly healthy options, but there are some items on the menu that are surprising high in caloric intake. They’re plan of action is a great, quick read on how transparency wins and makes the adjustment through the legislation with the least amount of turbulence.
The National, designed by Love and War, recently won a restaurant branding of the year award. It was just featured on Fast Co. design, and it jumped out at me. It’s simplicity is marked by a stark color palate and accentuated by traditional illustrations that nod towards class and taste. The branding for this destination is best described as pleasing and fine.
Little Chef is a chain of family restaurants in the UK. The branding of this restaurant is brilliant. The iconic “Pillsbury doughboy” has been streamlined and simplified. The execution of the brand takes it to a whole new level. Every detail has been considered and designed from uniforms to interiors and even sculptures that push this brand into a category of its own.
Design doesn’t just have to do with visuals. Design is in everything we do. We design our world the way we see fit from career to spouse to trivial things like cars, clothes, etc. One thing we design is the efforts for which we stand and in which we believe: Charity.
I have a problem with charity and nonprofits. My problem is, most of the time, their heart is in the right place, but they lack the design and innovation that makes something “sticky.” Non profits are just like any other business or product out there. They need followers. They need evangelists. They need innovation. Unfortunately most just “want to help” and “need money” to do so.
Today, I stumbled upon a nonprofit that’s been thought through. It’s called Doc2Dock. From it’s name throughout its infrastructure and down to its advertising, this nonprofit is well designed. So much so, I wanted to share it here even though it has nothing to do with restaurants or food. It is a testament to designs permeation throughout successful companies and initiatives. Enjoy:
The packaging design for Amelie & Friends’ takeout elements are simple and clean. Semi-nostalgic in flavor, but definitely unique. The design is strongly typographical as it delivers puns in large format. The color palates are soft and approachable. The team at ILOVEDUST have this to say:
West Sussex based Restaurant owners Rowland and Mary Leach asked us to work with them on the branding of their brand new restaurant in Chichester. With 2 Michelin Star chefs in the kitchen and an endless supply of local produce to chose from the kitchen produces some of the finest and most original food and pastries all made fresh daily on the premises.
Once again I must stray a little bit from strictly restaurants. I found this amazing brand identity designed for an event/product. It’s a good idea that one of my clients a few years back actually had. I guess he never saw it through. If he did, these guys beat him to the punch. Awesome design work. Found it on behance.net. It was designed by David Arias and Corey Gibbons.