Designing Brand Collateral: A Case-Study Tutorial with Abi-Haus Restaurant

Ryan Feerer, Designer & Illustrator. Abi-Haus Restaurateur.

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9 Lessons (1h 10m)
    • 1. Introduction: What is Abi-Haus?

    • 2. Developing the Logo

    • 3. Creating Secondary Logos and Icons

    • 4. Developing Brand Guidelines and Grids

    • 5. On Brand and On Purpose: Designing the Menu

    • 6. How Typographic Murals Define the Space

    • 7. Texturing

    • 8. Type Choices

    • 9. Final Thoughts and Conclusion


Project Description

Structure a branded design system and design 3 pieces of collateral for a person, place, or product

Intro: What is Abi-Haus?

  1. Choose a person, project or place

    Do you dream of starting your own business? Do you have a side project with friends you'd like to push into high gear?

    Take some time to think about your options, then pick the person, project, or place you'd like to brand throughout this class. This can be real or fictional–you just need a clear idea for what it is.

  2. Develop your brand's story

    Developing a story based on your brand will help bring your project in an appropriate visual direction.

    Where did it come from? When? Why did it start? Who founded it? What does it hope to accomplish?

    Keep your demographic in mind. What should they experience with your brand? What should be their first, mid-way, and lasting impressions?

    Jot some notes, quickly draw your story, or write a quick paragraph with your backstory.

    If you want to learn more about the Abi-Haus story, read an interview here (open access), or check out the February 2014 issue of Print Magazine (subscription required).

The Primary Logo

  1. Develop a logo using a visual-history approach

    Using the same approach from the video (creating a visual history, revising by increments, etc.), develop a typographic logo that includes various types of information.

    It might include, for instance, a location, contact info, or a URL. It may or may not be paired with an icon.

    Start with sketches and move towards working in Illustrator. By the end, you should have a visual history for your logo, one that shows how it evolved over time.


Secondary Logos, Icons, Guidelines, and Menus

  1. Develop a secondary logo

    Choose an element or elements from the main logo and experiment with how they might be used in standalone applications. Try containing or combining the element(s) in an interesting way. This should be a simple approach. 


  2. Develop an icon set

    Aim to create a set of 8-16 icons.

    Keep it simple and try using geometric shapes (as in the video). Reuse elements throughout your icon set. 

    These icons should not distract from the primary or secondary logo.

    Begin to consider how these icons will be used within your brand.


  3. Set rules for brand style

    Start to set brand rules and guidelines for yourself. What type (font/size/color) will be used for titles, subtitles, captions, body copy, etc.? What will your color pallette be? What grid structure? This will make your life a lot easier when designing your collateral.

  4. Design a menu of items, services, or qualities

    Design a menu that puts your brand rules into place. 

    A menu is an excellent starting place because it contains a great deal of information. The many elements you will need to define will help inform how you approach other collateral, like signage. 

    (Note: Menus are excellent collateral beyond restaurants. For instance, if you're branding yourself as a designer, maybe it's a menu of the services you offer.)

    Keep in mind type size, information hierarchy, supporting elements, and visual interest. Anticipate the needs of your readers. Revisit the brand story you established early in the class to ensure you're creating a consistent experience.


Branded Exteriors and Interiors

  1. Design a large-scale image or mural

    Try designing a mural for your brand using a non-digital medium. If you're a designer and branding yourself, maybe it's a motivating quote from Paul Rand or another inspiring figure. If it's a place, consider what kinds of visuals would inspire your guests in the spirit of your brand.


Textures and Concluding Advice

  1. Texture logos and icons

    Following the video tutorial above, try texturing some of your design elements. Bonus: Just for you, attached is a set of photoshop brushes. Enjoy!

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