Identity Re-Design: Balaboosta Delicatessen

The Japanese book Works in Progress: Graphics for Visual Presentations features a portion of the logo design process for Balaboosta. The following example of a logo re-design project by Jeff Fisher LogoMotives goes into a bit more detail.

Local chef and restaurant owner Lisa Schroeder was opening a new traditional delicatessen on a city block where she owned two other eating establishments. Initially the new eatery was also going to display and sell artisan furniture made from reclaimed products. A polished identity was needed to represent the new business.

Furniture designer Brett Bigham had created an initial image for use in promoting the establishment which would also showcase his creative efforts (above). A more stylized and finished business identity was desired by the owner of the business. Retaining the image of a waitress in the graphic was discussed, as was the incorporation of some retro restaurant imagery.

With "Balaboosta" being a rather unique word, I first presented the client the word in a wide variety of typefaces - both upper and lower case for each font presented (above).

The initial concepts (above) incorporated waitress imagery, a retro-like checkerboard pattern and all of the text elements desired by the client. The first two logo concepts included an oval shape - an element used in the identities of the client's tow other eating establishments.

Feedback on the initial concepts led to the elimination of the waitress image. The client suggested that I concentrate on promoting the food offerings of the delicatessen within the logo design.

I then decided to incorporate a cup of coffee and a bagel as replacements for the "O" letterforms in the word "Balaboosta." In addition, concepts were presented that conveyed a restaurant tabletop with coffee cups, bowl, plate and pitcher. (above) Again, one of the designs involved the inclusion of the oval shape.

The oval resonated with the client and I was asked to move forward with that shape as a graphic element. The coffee cup remained within the design; while the bagel was replaced with a half sandwich and a dill pickle slice. In simplifying the design, the name Balaboosta Delicatessen was the only text retained. A variety of background treatments were presented (above).

The client, who had a great understanding of design and typography, then suggested that I take a look at the font Serific/Serifa as a possible primary type treatment. Baskerville was discussed as a complimentary type selection for the word "Delicatessen" (above).

The simplification of the logo design continued with the elimination of all illustrative elements. The diamond pattern background of previous concepts brought my attention to the tile pattern on the floor of the historic building housing the delicatessen. I then brought that tile pattern - and the colors of wood, paint and tile within the restaurant - into the design (above).

The oval shape was a consistent element from the beginning of the process to create an identity for the Balaboosta Delicatessen. Through the process of distilling the design down to a simplified image, a final sophisticated logo was created.

The client was very pleased with the final identity image and how it complimented the logos of her other restaurants. Unfortunately, the design got little use, as the eating establishment was reconcepted shortly after opening.

In addition to appearing in the Works in Progress: Graphics for Visual Presentations, the Balaboosta design lives on in The Big Book of Logos 5, 1000 Restaurant Bar & Cafe Graphics, 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK), Design DNA - Logos: 300+ International Logos Deconstructed and Logo Design Vol. 3 (Germany). It also received an American Graphic Design Award from GD:USA.

Check out some other Jeff Fisher LogoMotives identity re-design projects.

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives