district one branding concept
[14 week project]
district one is a vietnamese-american restaurant in las vegas. they endeavor to attract people of all kinds to enjoy the best of both cultures, and make all feel welcome. this project aimed to bring subtle elements of vietnamese and american culture into a cohesive brand identity that would reflect the level of care and sincerity offered at the restaurant.
the logo is from an abstraction of the location of the restaurants namesake on a map of vietnam. the logo is further abstracted into patterns to decorate napkins, menus, and uniforms.
the pho bowl takes its shape from a wine glass, to offered the same experience of preserving the aroma throughout the meal. the district one logo is embossed at the bottom, which will reveal itself to the guest when a small amount of broth remains.
the asian style spoon blends into a flexible silicone rim to accommodate western eating habits, allowing all guests to feel welcome.
the chopsticks have subtle references to the conical hats worn by vietnamese farmers, and the rice paddies where the stable food is grown. this allows the guests to have a physical and emotional connection to the source of their meal.
the staff uniforms combine traditional vietnamese ai dai with iconic american blue denim.
- making story -
this project was briefed as "the future of food." but after being assigned district one bar and kitchen, it was clear their future was questionable.
district ones branding is all over the place. there was seemingly no reason for the mix of fonts, styles, colors or design. the official logo on the website is actually a cropped photograph of a sign from the store with the light reflecting on it.
to build a better foundation to push district one into the future, a more concise design language was explored. a new logo was made from the location of the restaurants namesake, and this was abstracted into graphic patterns.
with pho being one of the restaurants signature items, a new bowl was designed to capture the aroma of the broth. the logo was placed in the base to reveal when most of the soup was gone.
the spoon that accompanies the bowl was also redesigned to be more thoughtful. a flexible rim was created to accommodate all types of eating, and make everyone feel welcome.
several prototypes were made, trying to find the right shape, ergonomics, and materials.
it became apparent that flexibility should be achieved through thickness of the silicone and the hardness of the material. a two part mold was made so that the handle and rim could be molded at different hardnesses but as a single piece.
the chopsticks were also considered, to try and connect the food being eaten and the customer both metaphorically, and physically. eventually, the simple shape of rice paddies, and the conical hat worn by vietnamese rice farmers was lathed into the ends of the chopsticks.
finally, staff uniforms were created. in order to blend both cultures, mens and women uniforms based on traditional ai dai were made from classic American denim. the graphics patterns, abstracted from the logo, were laser etched into the fabric itself.