Branding a restaurant is a huge task for any illustrator or graphic designer. It has to evoke the ethos of the establishment as well as inticing new customers, meaning it has to look great but provide important information too. These 10 examples did a great job at doing so - take a look at their impeccable presentation.
01. Santa Cruz
Anagrama (opens in new tab)’s work for barbecue restaurant Santa Cruz was a collaboration with architect Eiji Hayakawa (opens in new tab): the Mexican agency developed the brand values and visual identity, while Hayakawa worked on the restaurant's building and décor.
"The brief was to create a restaurant franchise targeting families, kids and young people," Anagrama producer Lucía Elizondo says, "to communicate the joy of making food and the value of things in their raw state."
02. Masala Darbar
This branding for Indian restaurant Masala Darbar was created by Jekin Gala (opens in new tab). "It was necessary to communicate the new brand without falling into the stereotypes of the category: hot and spicy food," he explains.
"So, the strategy was to make this ethnic food restaurant modern and pleasing to all kinds of consumers. The typeface selected is Cheap Pine, that came out of a search for traditional fonts with a contemporary feel which reflected Masala Darbar and its tradition."
Graphic designer Richard Marazzi (opens in new tab) is the man behind this elegant branding work for Polpo, a conceptual Italian restaurant that specializes in Venetian fare with a focus on seafood.
"Polpo means octopus in Italian and is a staple in Venetian cuisine and a speciality of the house," Marazzi comments on Behance. "From playing with historical images that were used in textbooks before the invention of photography, a playful image style with a modern design was created."
04. Epic Smokehouse
Epic Smokehouse (opens in new tab), situated in Arlington, Virginia in the US, is a new "upscale barbecue" restaurant, serving "quality smoked meats and seafood paired with innovative cocktails and high-calibre wine at affordable prices", according to its blurb.
To convey this idea of homeliness meeting high-class cuisine, the owners commissioned New York-based Rock3rs (opens in new tab) - a small and relatively new studio - to create the branding, signage, menus, the website and other collateral.
When respected restaurant Riffle NW (opens in new tab), located in Portland USA, decided it was time for a total rebrand, it turned to Hovercraft (opens in new tab), a local full-service creative agency that has worked for Nike (opens in new tab) and Magners (opens in new tab), among other clients.
Part of Riffle's attraction is that it serves sustainable, locally caught seafood and river fish in an upmarket but unintimidating atmosphere, and that needed to be reflected in the branding.
06. El Montero
Prolific Mexican studio Anagrama (opens in new tab) has added another superb entry to its portfolio with branding for a new high-end restaurant.
El Montero is a restaurant located in Saltillo Coahuila, a city very close to Mexico’s northern border. The brief covered extensive branding, including packaging for gift sets that the restaurant sells, interior designs, stationery, opening night invitations, wine bottle labels, menus and signage for the restaurant.
07. Silver Ferns Farm Foods
From the looks of it, graphic designer Matt Hammond (opens in new tab) was inspired by the expression 'eat with your eyes' when developing this new identity for Silver Ferns Farm foods.
Completed at Designworks (opens in new tab), Hammond created the delicious design to showcase the company's venison and beef products, with communications sent directly to chefs and restaurants. Everything from the layout to typography (opens in new tab) and colour combinations (opens in new tab) has been well planned in this design, showcasing the company's products beautifully.
08. The Gallimaufry
This branding for Bristol based restaurant and bar was created by typographer Ged Palmer (opens in new tab). "The name 'Gallimaufry' comes from the French, meaning 'a mix or medley' and spoke of their ethos 'to make the best of what's at hand'," he explains.
"With home-cooked food, heaps of reclaimed furniture and a bar full of 'Curios' objects the identity was composed of various letterforms, hand-crafted in a traditional style."
08. Jackson & Rye
This vintage-inspired restaurant branding was created by designer Bjorn Rune Lie (opens in new tab). "In September 2013 I was asked to illustrate the menu for a new and exciting american-inspired restaurant in Soho, London called Jackson+Rye," he explains.
"They wanted a sort of vintage 1940's feel to it, a bit like my Wolf's Whistle book (opens in new tab), and I had pretty much free reign to include as many strange characters as I wanted. As well as the actual menu, I made a bunch of extra things like business cards and coasters. My writing has also been blown up and pained on the window with gold leaf."
Since graduating in Summer 2010, illustrator Tobias Hall (opens in new tab) has been working closely with UK-based Italian restaurant chain, Zizzi, as their in-house illustrator, designer and art director.
From wall murals to menus and oil cans to logos, he has crafted and overseen just about everything about their restaurant branding. His typography based execution gives this branding a homemade aesthetic that perfectly reflects its menu options.
Oslo based graphic designer Martine Strøm (opens in new tab) was responisble for this gorgeous restaurant branding. She says, "Sukkerbiten is placed in the centre of Bjørvika, where the old and new part of the city meet.
"I took inspiration from this and wanted to show this in the profile by mixing old traditional drawings and newer pixel-elements. Pixels remind me of sugar cubes in an indirect way, and represents the 'new' very well."
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Have you seen any inspiring restaurant branding? Let us know in the comments box below!