Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Restaurant rebranding

Me and my FD graphics class were asked to rebrand one of five of newcastle college's restaurants/bistros as part of a live brief for newcastle college.
The client was describing the restaurants mainly as a blank canvas with dull neutral colour of mushroom used throughout with no character.
The restaurant i chosen to rebrand was chefs academy, this was to be used by memebers of college and the public meaning that this would literally be used by everyone and not just for the room as a restaurant but also as a conference room where they would provide them this service with food and drink.
The food cooked for people using the restaurant would by students at degree level and the room provided space up 50 people complete with bar and wide open view front through the glass wall.
The room had only 2 paintings hanging but still had no real vibe, just complete blank canvas for me to work on, the outline the client want to give the room in our branding was that the mushroom colour was not used, and that restaurant is to have a formal feel and that the food would be quality and inexpensive, the cheapest in newcastle, she quoted that from a magazine it was described as 
"the hidden gem of newcastle".

The view
Inside chefs academy
So as part of the rebrand we where asked to create a stationary set, which contained a logo,compliment slip,business card and letter head. In addition to this we where also asked to design a menu template to accompany this aswell for the restaurant.

Below is the current design for the chefs academy menu, basic and not much thought can be seen in the design used.

The front cover design of the menu before the rebrand.
Inside the menu on the first page.

Firstly i designed the logo, i kept creating logos in my ideas that where too complex for a logo, and i want it to be symbolic so i took this route, i went and looked at other symbolic logos and logos that worked affectively by being simple and used shapes or patterns to create their logos and then looked my ideas i had drawn in my initial ideas and used the elements in my ideas of the knife and fork and tried this in the same sense of using the cutlery to create a shape or pattern, i had drawn star at one point of my ideas, so i tried this in a shape of a star, i quite like it but again it need simplified so i worked on this and tried some other shapes at the same time, but i found the star to be working more successfully and more unique looking and worked at its best as a flat illustration using 2 colours and i found having tried this in colour, it didnt worked as affectively so i tried it in black and grey, this worked better but the black looked harsh so i toned the black down to a dark grey. The design shape has came down to a basic star shape with spoons making the shape of it and a spoon between each point which is in the second colour. i then developed the text font and the layout, i found having the text underneath each other of each word 'chefs academy' then adding a strapline of 'fine dining' to say exactly what it is.
I think when you look at it, the darker area is the star and the lighter area is like the shine around the spoons like a twinkle, giving a feel of being a head of other restaurants and being number like a star being number,being the best and links with what it is by having the spoons.

This became my logo design.

Following the colour scheme used in my logo i carried this on for the rest of the stationary set.
in some parts i even reversed the colours, like on the cover of the menu and the business card.
This kept its consistency and makes its known as a brand.
like the logo, i kept the stationary set simple which followed on the style and feel i created in my logo of being elegant and classy for a fine dining restaurant, giving the chefs academy a brand new modern look and feel that suits it much better.
Letter head

bussiness card, front and back and compliment slip

We can see that from the menu above in the photos, that the menu is bounded together by elastic through the clear pockets.
This makes it convenient as the pages can be moved or changed, which the menu changes all the time so i thought this would be a way to present the menu but still change the design to it.

The design of the menu again follows through the design of the stationary set and its logo.
for the cover i have done the same way as the business card of reversing the colours around, this made it outstanding whilst still keeping its look.
i have also put a band at the bottom that follows the front and back page with the other reversed colour symbolic part of the symbol in the middle of this as decoration as it looks abit plain without it.
Menu cover, front and back

For the inside design, i had to create the template as the inside of the design is ever changing.
So i made the first page and copied the body text off the original menu for their info for the first page.
this gives a feel of how the rest of the other pages would look centrally aligned and subheaded and sectioned the same way with different point size text and the two colours that are used in such way for this reason.

inside pages, template and how it would look and feel we can see from the first page.

page for each section of the menu, from starters to dessert and beverages.

click images to enlarge for viewing.

I think that this project went really well because the final result came out better than i thought it would, looking really professional. becoming one of the best pieces i have done ever, whilst getting use to useing indesign and knowing the basics after using it such on my final, i am much more confident to work with indesign myself, with no other help.
I learnt that i need to keep my work more simple, and that the theory to this is 'less is more' which is what i need to keep in mind when coming up with my ideas as it works much more affectively and successfully.

My peers and some staff have commented on the final design saying that it looks good, simple, proffesional and a good outcome that i have worked really hard on.

If i was to do this project again, the only thing i would do differently is to back up my work, as i had completed my final then lost it after my memory stick broke with being unreadable on the computer and resulting in redoing my final over again so that this result does not occur again.
Other than this, i feel everything else has went really well and i am proud of my design.


  • Strengths What did I do well?: refining my ideas and Executing my final design turning out better than initially had thought.
  • Weaknesses - What do I need to improve? making my designs more simple so that they work more affectively.
    • Opportunities - What do I need to do to build on my strengths and weaknesses?  keep refining my designs and putting down as many ideas as possible for the best possible outcome aswell 
  • Threat - What could stop me achieving my goals? spending too much time on one idea adding detail could result in slowing down my development 


  •    Specific - Well defined: make my ideas and designs more simple
  • Measurable - Know when it has been achieved: when i do my future projects, for my initial ideas, i will do simpler ideas than what i usually do as the idea will be more affective.
  •    Achievable  Are the goals achievable: yes this will be something that will be easily achieved if kept in mind whilst designing ideas.
  • Realistic - Within the availability of resources, knowledge and time: using resources like the internet, books and magazines this will provide inspiration and some insight on some ideas whilst looking at the simplicity of designs to ensure i will have some direction of how i hit this target.
  •  Time Based - Enough time to achieve the goal: enough time that is usually spent on each section of a project from research,initial ideas,development and final outcome for this be done, maintaining the target through the design process.