Mediterranean Mix Restaurant Identity, Seattle

designalchemy's picture

Identity consisting of custom type design implemented with graphic ornamentation for Seattle's best Mediterranean Restaurant. Body type (not shown) for rest of identity system is Harmony Bold.Med Mix type and logo

hrant's picture

I'm thinking your stroke endings need to flare a bit - like in Lithos.

BTW, what's Harmony?

hhp

alyce's picture

Morning, My first impression is that this is too sterile-looking; blue is not an appetizing color. I'm thinking warm tones. Those colors will go better with the place and the food, and will stand out better on signage. I agree with Hrant, try flaring strokes. This will help to humanize it. And, sorry, the forks aren't working for me -- too fussy.

dan's picture

I don't mind the type as much as i dislike the forks in the logo. Forks don't say Mediterranean, and they cheapen the look. If the blue background is supposed to be water, then use an image of water. The overall feel of the logo is industrial not appealing.

Could you post a sample of Harmony as well?

andrew_baker's picture

I don't care for the divit's in the E and M,

especially in the small image, they stick out.

Dan's right. No feeling in it.

hrant's picture

Instead of forks try a kebab skewer through the name, or maybe a gyro.

But blue is very Greek.

hhp

squeeze's picture

The first thing I think of whenever I hear Mediterranean is sea

alyce's picture

If you want to keep the blue think about a secondary color other than black. :-)

Tom Cannon's picture

I think secondary shapes should be added in the background with a theme of fish, water, etc. Maybe illustrative, like the way the shapes are done on long john silver's website (but I wouldn't make it playful).



You could make the pattern halftone so it barely shows up. I also think the top of the M needs to be cleaner and connect, even if you leave the rest of the letters the way they are.

Tom Cannon's picture

<font class="dontLookLikeCrap">Also,

I think serifs like the ones on Sophia would look good:
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontbureau/sophia/</font>

designalchemy's picture

Thanks for the critiques. Here is a few of the reasons for the selected choices. The blue is representative of the Mediterranean sea and the colors of the Greek flag. I am designing for contrast, as signage is outdoors and establishment is open till' 2am daily. Lettering used on signage are reflective, as to be more visible at night. Colors are very limited when using reflective, so
choices came down to yellow, white, silver and red. Background colors could not be "warm" colors, ie tans, beige, soft greens or blues as reflective materials are not available in these colors. Best match for background colors came down to complementary colors that would match reflective colors. Blue was the choice.

I designed a Sans Serif face to match the body type of Harmony. The suggestion of using Jeremy Tankard's "Sophia" was a good suggestion, in fact an inspiration for my "E" design.

I am surprised at how little commentators like the forks. I guess
I thought it was clever.They were intended to be more decorative
than iconographic.

Besides the post I uploaded yesterday there are other elements
to consider. Here are a few more. harmony typeface

designalchemy's picture

Businesscard front. (Work in progress).business card .work in progress.

designalchemy's picture

...another possibility for businesscard front).another businesscard comp.

whoisdan's picture

Typo: Mediterranean

I'm seeing too many forks. If you're going to stick with them, maybe one on each side, one facing up, one facing down. I won't vouch for this being a good idea, though. I'm okay with the blue, though.

hrant's picture

What's Harmony?

(Sophia is M Carter's.)

hhp

designalchemy's picture

hey Hrant. You are right I got Sophia mixed up with Alchemy, a similar design from Jeremy Tankard. As far as the font Harmony, I am not sure who the designer of it is.

designalchemy's picture

Here is the outdoor A-frame sign. Size is 32'x48"
(80.5cm x 121cm). Blue base is actually darker like royal blue for higher contrast. Orange strip is reflective orange vinyl. Copy is reflective white.A-frame

dan's picture

Ole one thought is if you had a water image of rippling water you could image map the logo on it and it would unify the logo and the water. Sorry, but your CI feels anything but upscale. Everyting screams for attention. Don't you have another weight for that type style?

aquatoad's picture

Hi Ole,

I like the MED MIX. You're not resorting to the diamond shaped E that is as bad as chop suey type for a chinese restaurant. Nicely played. But before moving to the signage (which I agree is busy), i want to voice some concern about the execution of MED MIX. It looks to me like it has a light/shadow chisel thing happening. That is nice, though it looks a little inconsistent with where the light would be if it was actually chisled. Check the widths of the white areas too for consistency (could be the gif). You also have a dimensionality to it

designalchemy's picture

Thanks for the critiques. Daniel you commented that everything screams for attention. This is true. This is actually intentional. The restaurant is located between 2 bars with heavy, crowded foot traffic especially on week-end nights. Some clients (at these
hours) are often inibriated, or in the process of becoming so.In some ways it's important to be a bit loud graphically speaking. The same reason for using reflective materials. As you can tell from menu (prices) this is not high-end, but really great Mediterranean basics at affordable prices. The owner made a lot of good decisions with the location and menu offerings. The result is that often the place is packed with people waiting in line. I think what has become most obvious in all the critiques is that the forks may be too "obvious" instead of a little added nuance. The bold type is unusual for menu design but in my opinion appropriate to the clients. I do have a ligther weight which looked classier but was ruled out because it was less legible at a distance. There is no menus on the tables but a couple huge backlit menus with photos of the food behind the counter. I should comment that design should always be viewed in context, which is obviously somewhat limited on a discussion board, as atmosphere is hard to absord as well as antisipating
the interaction clients are having with the design/and or services offered. I sent the typophile link to my client with the warning that people visiting site leaving critiques are pros and
often very critical compared to his customers visiting the establishment. He phoned me after reading a few critiques and sounded a bit shocked. He is a great client to work with and has left me with a lot of the choices other than the actual content. A lot of trust- which was much apprciated. So what did I learn from this experience/job. well for starters, most designs can always be improved upon (especially if budget/time frame allows), Example- one of my firms web designs we did for a client last year is not to my personal quality standars, as it could be refined (which we just started on) but with 36 hrs to launch from start to finish- the timing was the priority and not the fine tuning of all elements and text. The solution: do your best. To be honest, this job ran 40 hours over budget (which I ate) due to a miscalculation on the extremely slow process of working at full resolution on the backlit 160" x 24 menu boards that are over 800 megs (at 240 flattened dpi), with many changes over the
course of the job. Client ended up getting a bit impatient as things were running late (which is understandable), so where does one quit. Hopefully not untill it is the best it can be. But when exactly is that? A lot of smaller budget jobs do not allow for focus groups, so it becomes a lot of personal choices based on observations regarding the clients target market, objectives, etc...
Always a challenge, but I guess this is why we loved doing what we do.

tIPODgraphic's picture

cheeseburger/fries...mediterraneam? :s :s

ok...next holiday go to Valencia (Spain) and eat a paella...and after U can design right a mediterranean men

aquatoad's picture

Ole,

Balls for showing the client our ramblings. Well done in such a tight timeframe the client is well served. The reality is that we are talking about the last 10% of the design process. The average costomer would totally miss this subtlety. Espcially if they were inebriated.

Any time the file size goes larger than the total RAM things tend to get a little nuts.

designalchemy's picture

Hey Randy. Thanks for the props. Well I am afraid I will dissappoint you a bit, as stated earlier it is only the Logo type that I designed, not the body copy (called Harmony, by designer unkown to me). The reason for choosing the body copy to be set in Harmony vs. all the other choices out there, was that it is readable at a distance, familiar and friendly like the folks that work at Med Mix. As for the Logo type, the chisel effect with a single source of light, was kind of where this was going when I started but then it shifted direction into where it ended up... an eclectic mix of cuts. As for the devits, I confess I was unable in solving the issue with the devits in the M. I tried 4 or five different angles/cuts but nothing worked so with the time running out, I chose the results yoy see. I will post a few other version in a few minutes so you can see process...
As far as the borders. I am not exactly sure what this classic greek pattern is called but it is traditional. I personally like the mix of all the elements but perhaps it is not to everyones liking.
In the mix of feelings people like yourself have about it, perhaps there could be a better choice to go with only forks, or just the border.

designalchemy's picture

Hi Alvaro. Yep give the people what they want, even if it is a cheese burger. As for spanish food. Yum I love it. I actually lived on Tenerifa for about a year, properly not as good as the food in Valencia, but still Spanish. One of my fondest memories of dining in Spain was in Basque country. The food was not memorable but the people were really nice. I still have my EC passport and think one of these days I will want to move back to Europe and properly to Spain (instead of my home country Denmark). Spanish people know how to live life to it's fullest.

designalchemy's picture

Hi Alvaro. Yep give the people what they want, even if it is a cheese burger. As for spanish food. Yum I love it. I actually lived on Tenerifa for about a year, properly not as good as the food in Valencia, but still Spanish. One of my fondest memories of dining in Spain was in Basque country. The food was not memorable but the people were really nice. I still have my EC passport and think one of these days I will want to move back to Europe and properly to Spain (instead of my home country Denmark). Spanish people know how to live life to it's fullest.

designalchemy's picture

Here is early Med Mix Logo works in progress... more to follow....

designalchemy's picture

Here is a couple of other directions we took with logo earlier on....Too Greek in orientation.
sample of earlier logo works in progress

designalchemy's picture

and more versions....sunny side up...

hrant's picture

(Man, now I'm hungy...)

> Balls for showing the client our ramblings.

Totally.

And your font is working great.

The border: it's kind of a nice adaptation of the authentic Greek one - I like it.

The Exocet/sun thing: way too BajaFresh/Rubios/etc. style for my taste.

> Spanish people know how to live life to it's fullest.

Indeed. A unique balance of East and West. Reminds me of Lebanon.
Make sure you choose Barcelona.

BTW, where can I see Harmony?

hhp

designalchemy's picture

I have had Harmony around for so long I can not recall where i got it.
As for the Baja Logo. Yep I agree. Not working at all. As for the font used it was Mason Sans another Barnbrook face. I think his fonts are great but too overused. I wish he had never called up Licko at Emigre back in the day, and stuck to selling them through Virusfonts as they would never had come to so much exposure and still been a nice choice in for logos. At this point if
a designer used Mason or Exocet for a logo, it is because he/she is too lazy to get creative in my opinion.

dan's picture

Ole, your upscale resturant look is the lowest level in Manhattan, I have a friend who works as a captain at one of the best french resturants in the world. Your look is a little above a franchise. If you are the best resturant in your category please live up to it graphicly. Who cares about the bar crowd.

Tom Cannon's picture

>The suggestion of using Jeremy Tankard's "Sophia" was a good suggestion, in fact an inspiration for my "E" design.

I thought I recognized the E. That is probably why I thought of Sophia.

designalchemy's picture

Hi Daniel. Amusing response. I see it now... Customers complaining about the lack of a winelist because logo is
too upscale...
Well I should properly define Best Mediterranean. Med Mix won
awards from the 2 top local entertainment guides/papers for their Falafels and their Gyros. It is a "people's choice" type award. It is about taste and not dining experience. Service is quick and most people walk off eating their food, especially at night.

squeeze's picture

Daniel, I don't think I remember Ole ever saying that this was an "upscale" restaurant

kris's picture

I like the 'loudness' of the outside signage. It has an almost chalk & blackboard feel about it that is quite popular over here in cafe's. It is designed, but not pretentiously. It works for me. If they have good food that is served in an informal manner, then what you have done is entirely appropriate.

kris.

designalchemy's picture

Back to issue of color... with all the critiques, more information about the place, the greek color consideration, contrast, its' atmosphere and clients. What is the verdict. My client just called me and would like to feel more comfortable with color choices. Does blue work.

designalchemy's picture

reflective type works just like white. except at night is relects light.

squeeze's picture

I think blue is perfect.

I am familiar with reflective lettering. The concern I would have is that its reflective qualities react differently depending on how light is shining on it. If light is shining on it differently or from different angles, it may be difficult to read small letters.

hrant's picture

Blue is fine.
The only other color I can think of is purpure, a color that Phoenicians were famous for - it's like a reddish purple.

hhp

designalchemy's picture

how were the Phoenicians at type design?

hrant's picture

They were more into alphabet reform.

hhp

dan's picture

Ole, sorry I misunderstood "Best", I guess its my Manhattan snobbery, based on your explaination you are right on target for your audience, good work.

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