Rebranding A Restaurant Part 1

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By Evan Russell

One of my favorite projects so far for 2011 has been the rebranding of Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. 

I began by doing a little research into Savannah’s seafood past. Savannah, like other parts of the Lowcountry, has always been known for it’s delicious seafood and shellfish, specifically the uniquely Southern way it’s prepared. Seafood is a part of the culture here, as you can see from the fleet of shrimp boats docked near the Thunderbolt bridge, to the old remnants of seafood markets scattered about downtown.

After searching the web and various books, I compiled an abundance of images to use for a “mood board” to get a good idea of the look we were going for. We wanted to pull from the vintage, hand-painted sign look of old seafood markets to pay homage to Savannah’s seafood history, but at the same time give it a modern update unique to Uncle Bubba’s.

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I started sketching ideas and went through a ton of different versions, then meetings, then revisions, then more sketching, and on and on. Coming up with a logo is a tricky process, because it has to represent your brand, your restaurant, and basically everything you stand for and want to project to the world, and once you’re done, you’re stuck with it for a while.

We finally decided on a bucket for our visual “icon”. Not only does it represent buckets of oysters or beer, but it pretty much had all the qualities we want to represent the restaurant. Authentic, rustic, casual, etc…

Once the logo was finalized, the fun truly began. It was then I realized all the aspects of branding a restaurant: merchandise, menus, business cards, décor, even the big sign out front. I also needed to come up with some great wall décor that matched the rustic vibe of the main dining room and that tied into our overall theme.

I took some great food photography from a recent UB food shoot and “dirtied it up”. I basically tried to make it look aged and worn out, like an old postcard.
I hand-drew the lettering, once again going back to the hand-painted sign looks of old-timey seafood stands. The goal was to make it look as if the letters had actually been hand painted over the photos. We got them printed on large-format canvases and then stretched onto wooden frames.  Instant wall décor for the dining room!
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There’s plenty more to come, this was just the tip of the iceberg. So much in fact I decided to split it into two blog posts. In the next post I’ll go into detail on the design and construction of the Uncle Bubba’s sign, which is a pretty elaborate process. Stay tuned!

Read Part 2

After graduating from college with no idea what to do with himself, Evan moved to Savannah to study animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. As a broke college student he worked part time at The Lady & Sons, and a few years later somehow found himself as the In-House Graphic and Web Designer for Paula Deen Enterprises. He works on a multitude of design projects for Paula and The Deen Bros, including websites, food packaging, apparel, and logos. He also loves sports, mainly college and pro football, and promises to keep any sports references to a minimum.
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Reader Comments:

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Evan,I know this is off the subject on this blog, but I was wondering where I could get a copy of the Rooster painting in the kitchen where Paula does some of her filming.I'm making some changes in my kitchen and would like one to hang there.I have happy memories of the time I spent with my Granny and she had chickens everywhere.God Bless,Mary

By MARY2711 on July 29, 2011

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Wow!!! You are doing a great job. It looks fabulous.

By Cindy Edwards on July 28, 2011

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Evan, this is great! I'll have to mosey on out to Uncle Bubba's soon and see the job well-done in person! The new wall hangings look amazing! You did a great job!!

By Martha Lee on July 27, 2011

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nice blog Evan! Can't wait to read part 2.

By andrea lepinske on July 27, 2011

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What a great post Evan! Working on this end, I don't get to see everything (the talent) that goes into things like this. Thank you for sharing. Can't wait to see what's next!!

By Libbie Summers, Senior Food Editor for Paula Deen on July 27, 2011

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I was at Uncle Bubba's over the weekend.I could not believe the change's.There wasn't one thing I didn't like.The back porch was what I liked the most,it was like outside but it wasn't hot and you could enjoy your meal.I'll be going back real soon.About a year ago I made Sav. my run away from home place.I'm only about 4 hours from my home in Cocoa,Fl. God Bless, Mary

By MARY2711 on July 27, 2011

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I was at Uncle Bubba's over the weekend.I could not believe the change's.There wasn't one thing I didn't like.The back porch was what I liked the most,it was like outside but it wasn't hot and you could enjoy your meal.I'll be going back real soon.About a year ago I made Sav. my run away from home place.I'm only about 4 hours from my home in Cocoa,Fl. God Bless, Mary

By MARY2711 on July 27, 2011

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Great post, Evan! Loved seeing how all of your concepts came together.

By Jonathan Able on July 27, 2011

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We have lived in Savannah for four and just ate at Uncle Bubba's. We enjoyed it. The food was great!

By Gale Haney on July 26, 2011

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Hey Ya'll, this was just a wonderful blog! I love this family time and sharing times with our wonderful famlies! I hve been there to Uncle Bubba's Oyster House! I think it's a great place to take your families! Ihave another trip to go there soon! I love that Paula Deen! I can't wait to see you! We missed you on the frist trip, I believe you were on a cruise if i'm not mistaken! I had my 70th Birthday last year in October, and part of my birthday present is to be taken to see Paula Deen! I am a true southerner! zzzI was born and raised in Florida! I hope to see you and Uncle Bubba soon! Respectly, Lois

By Lois Alexa on July 26, 2011

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Was there on Thursday night for dinner. My son, daughter-in-law, and grandson took me there right after my drive from Florida. Oh how I love those charbroiled oysters and chocolate pecan pie. The low country boil was no disappointment either. Our waitress, Paula (easy to remember smile)was fabulous. Even though I was tired from the trip, the atmosphere at the restaurant helped to relax me. My sixth visit and wonderful as before. Keep up the good work. Looking forward to more surprises next visit (Sept.)

By Shirley Brosie on July 26, 2011

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Hi, Truly enjoyed Uncle Bubba's. They food was fabulous. Even had my picture with Uncle Bubba, what a gentleman.

By Jeannette on July 26, 2011

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Very interesting post! You do very nice work. I should have you create a logo for my BBQ team!

By Lt. Sanders on July 26, 2011

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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 9:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 7:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 3:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 10:03 pm