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.
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!
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!