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Your Logo Tells Customers What to Expect: Restaurant Case Study

June 3, 2010 | Branding, Design Basics

Your logo is your first impression. It’s a quick snapshot of your business’ personality. With just minimal use of color, typography and shape it can sum up how professional you appear, whether you are quirky or friendly or stuffy, it can make you appear old fashioned or cutting edge.

The idea that your logo can be so powerful, can sometimes feel very abstract, but I recently had the opportunity to see a rebranding that very clearly demonstrated this effect.

In the quaint, seaside town of Rockport, Massachusetts is a small restaurant called Brackett’s Ocean View Restaurant. Let me tell you straight out that while my last name is Brackett, and my mother and my uncle both live in Rockport, I am not directly associated with this restaurant. I don’t know the owners and was not involved with the logo and signage I’m about to describe. But, because of the fact that there is a restaurant in the small town where my Mom lives with our same last name, I do pay attention to it.

They have been in business for 20 years, and recently have decided to “redo” their restaurant. The word around town is that they’ve changed the menu, changed some decor and have a new logo. So I had to check it out.

The old look

The restaurant’s large, exterior sign had already been replaced when I went by, but the small sign on the door held a remnant of the what their old logo looked like.

Brackett's Ocean View Restaurant, old logo

The old signage, which shows what the old logo was like.

By looking at this sign, you can see:

  • The sign is made by chiseling the words into wood. This suggests homemade, and old school.
  • The typography is not particularly well thought out or unique. This suggests a reliance on the standard, and nothing too high end.
  • The color scheme is fairly bland and predictable.

Therefore, we can guess that the restaurant, it’s cuisine and atmosphere will be:

  • Home cooked meals
  • Standard, but not high-end food
  • Somewhat predictable, and maybe even bland food and surroundings

That in fact, was exactly what was offered. It was a very predictable, seaside restaurant serving the basics like baked haddock and iceberg lettuce salads. The atmosphere (with the exception of the view) was homey but not particularly well-thought out or enticing. The sign perfectly summed up what one could expect from the restaurant.

A new look

Now, they have a new logo and sign:

Brackett's Ocean View Restaurant, new logo

The new logo for the restaurant

This new logo suggests a much different dining experience:

  • This clean, modern typographic approach suggests a new look and a more modern take on food and probably the decor.
  • The bright and somewhat unusual color palette also lets me think there will something fresh in the new menu. The choices may be more unique, and less expected.
  • Overall, it has a much more professionally designed feel which suggests this restaurant will have a professional chef, not just someone cooking home-cooked specialties.

I have yet to be in the updated restaurant, as it had not opened for the season when I went by. But the new sign with the new logo were already in place. It was such a bold and clear way to shout to the community that something new was going on with this restaurant.

What is your logo saying about your business?

Your logo is making a lot of statements about your business, product or service right this minute. Without even mentioning it, we can see how a logo can suggest the type of food you serve, how well-trained your staff will be and what type of experience a diner can expect. A poorly designed logo may be saying that you are unprofessional, cheap, or inexperienced; there may be mixed messages and most of them do not reflect well on you. A well-designed logo can position you exactly where you want to be: well-established, innovative, local, friendly, precise, traditional, hand-crafted, etc. A professional designer can help you project your strengths and personality into a visual object.

Want to see some examples of logo that Visible Logic has designed? Please check out the logo section of our portfolio.

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One comment

  1. Chris | September 24, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    We designed our logo specifically so that customers understood what type of services we provide. Our software is designed for the restaurant industry so we included a chef’s hat in the logo. I am always surprised to see lack of creativity in some business’s logo.

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