project details

CLIENT

Howdy Hot Chicken

This bold restaurant branding project had us hollerin’. Howdy Hot Chicken was a BurgerIM restaurant in a past life. Owner, Ray Ranpuri was a BurgerIM franchisee before he decided to cut ties with the burger franchise and turn his restaurant into a hot chicken spot. 

The Nice restaurant branding experts had already worked with Ray once, creating the uber-successful Gyro Republic brand. So, when he needed to flip his franchise for a fresh new concept, he knew just where to turn.

PROJECT KICKOFF

Our restaurant branding creative process starts with discovery. For The Starter Pack, this discovery phase comes in the form of a Creative Questionnaire. Our clients complete the questionnaire to transfer pertinent information about the project to our team. We pair this information with our notes from previous conversations with the client, and then we brief our branding team before we get to work.

DESIGN DIRECTION BRAINSTORM

We knew from the brief that the restaurant concept would leverage the popular Nashville hot chicken trend. Our client has already secured the restaurant name, Howdy Hot Chicken. Additionally, we knew that changes to the physical space would be minimal as existing furnishings would remain in the restaurant.

Ray signed on for The Starter Pack package, so for this project, we would create two concepts. We based the brand look and feel of each of the two concepts on what we knew about the restaurant, including location, target market, menu details, and existing furnishings.

We decided that we would create one option that would be bright and bold. The other option would take on a vintage look that nods to the restaurant’s Texas roots.

We’ve detailed the options below, but you’ll have to stick with us until the end to find out which option was selected.

FIRST BRAND CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

The first brand direction presented was the more modern of the two. We used bold, retro, layered typography and geometric shapes to represent the seasonings and spices used in hot chicken. Cheeky Southern slang would come in through the messaging, and the color palette reinforced the playful, friendly, and unique vibe.

MOOD BOARD

The Starter Pack begins with the creation of a six-image mood board to communicate the overall aesthetic of the brand.

For Howdy Hot Chicken, the images introduce clean lines and simple type over big, bold floods of color. The uncomplicated treatment of lines and type conveys a modern look, while the color brings in an unexpected juxtaposition of energy and play. Custom line drawings, icons, and graphics communicate brand messaging and custom brand patterns.

LOGO

For this concept, we developed a restaurant logo design that capitalizes on the modern approach and brings in an element of retro-style through the use of a bold script font. The logo icon is a custom chicken design made from dots and lines and adorned with a cowboy hat and kerchief.

BRAND COLORS

As noted, the bright brand colors under this direction communicate a sense of unexpected playfulness. The brand color palette consists of a bright pink in line with current trends, paired with an array of primary colors, including blue, red, yellow, and green.

BRAND FONTS

The supporting brand fonts here are decidedly simple, and all sans serifs. The clean, modern font set allows for the big, bold colors to come into play. We selected Bouchers Sans Regular, Open Sans Extrabold Italic, and Bouchers Stand.

SUPPORTING ICONS

Restaurant logo icons can appear on tray liner designs, cup designs, label designs, social media profile images, and more.

For the Howdy Hot Chicken brand, we created three supporting brand logo designs. One of the icons includes the chicken design on a round flood of pink with the restaurant name encircling the bird. The second icon is only the chicken. And the third supporting logo is just the restaurant name, stylized almost like a neon sign.

These supporting logos are for spaces that are too tight for the primary logo design, but warrant the brand mark nonetheless.

SECOND BRAND CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

The second brand concept we created as an option for Howdy Hot Chicken takes on a more vintage and industrial-style approach based on Texan themes.

MOOD BOARD

The mood board for this direction includes imagery of rustic, industrial interiors, vintage-style typography, and warm, but vibrant colors.

LOGO

Like the first logo option, this Howdy Hot Chicken logo also included a chicken in a cowboy hat. But instead of a dainty kerchief, this bird was breathing fire.

The logotype is a custom-looking serif font paired with a clean sans serif. An exclamation point stands in for the letter “i” in the word “chicken” to communicate the kick of the spices and the brand’s personality.

BRAND COLORS

The color palette includes warm, vibrant colors like hunter green, deep red, marigold yellow, and pure black. However, a soft pastel pink acts as a neutral to offset the heavy nature of the other colors and to make the palette more custom and current.

BRAND FONTS

Under this direction, typography would play a significant part in the execution of the brand. We selected brand fonts that would distinguish the restaurant while not competing with the other brand elements. For the primary logo font, we used Empera Regular. For supporting fonts, we selected Empera Soft and Refrigerator Deluxe Bold.

SUPPORTING ICONS

As in the first brand concept discussed, we split the primary restaurant logo design into three supporting logo designs. The first icon includes both the chicken graphic and the restaurant name in a single, circular mark. The second supporting logo is just the chicken icon. Finally, we created a third design that includes the restaurant name in a stylized typographic lockup. The supporting logo icons provide flexibility for the brand, allowing the brand designers to implement whichever layout works best for the application.

PRESENTATION AND SELECTION

We presented both brand options to our client via conference call. During the presentation, our team walked through the concepts, detailing our thought-process behind the designs.

After the overview, our client selected the first brand concept. This bright, bold design appealed to him the most, overall. However, he loved the chicken design from option two. In this case, we were able to revise the dot-and-line chicken from option one to align more with the chicken’s style in option two. There’s just something about a fire-breathing chicken. We get that.

A note about combining concepts: picking and choosing elements from different concepts and combining them into one doesn’t always work. However, in this instance, the graphic style of the fire-breathing-chicken did work with the overall aesthetic, so we were happy to make the change.

LOGO FINALIZATION

Upon selection and approval, we moved into finalizing the logo. We ensured that all elements of the logo were perfect and precisely spaced. Additionally, we selected exact logo colors in PMS, CMYK, and RGB codes.

We then created final logo files in JPEG, PNG, EPS, and PDF. We provided the logo files to the client, along with logo guidelines, in full color, black, and white.

BRAND GUIDEBOOK

Our brand guidebook is essential in keeping the brand intact. We supplied Howdy Hot Chicken with a booklet, including the six-image mood board, the logo, supporting logos, brand colors, and brand fonts.

PROJECT CLOSEOUT

As this Starter Pack project came to a close, our team began working on the next phase of restaurant branding for Howdy Hot Chicken: the restaurant interior branding. We were engaged to ensure that the restaurant’s physical space gave every customer a great big “Howdy!” as they walked through the doors.

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