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.
"Riffle NW is in the unique position of being very high-scale as far as food is concerned," explains Hovercraft's Ryan Haaland, "but it needed the very friendly, approachable personality of the executive chef, Ken Norris, and his wife and restaurant director Jen, to come through in all materials."
The result was a refined system of branding, spreading across multiple elements, from matchbooks and menus to kitchen staff uniforms and the restaurant website - all completed in six weeks from start to finish.
"It's quite friendly, approachable and even a little quirky at times," says Haaland. "The mark is a clean, round form but isn't a perfect circle. Even the typeface selection of Eames Century Modern and Brandon Grotesque makes a nod to a refined feel while still being approachable."
Although the studio had comprehensive freedom during the brief, there were certain elements that inevitably presented specific restraints: "The major thing being that the menus change daily," Haaland explains. "Basically all menus are treated like a blank letterhead.
"The orange and light blue are printed offset beforehand and the menus get run through the digital printer at the restaurant daily to fill in the content. Then it gets finished with a nice little stamp of the date at the top."
This showcase was originally published in Computer Arts (opens in new tab) issue 205.