This was a student project done in collaboration with SCAD Advertising major Ariel Daniel. Our assignment was to pick a restaurant and do a complete re-brand over the course of 10 weeks. The restaurant we picked was CHINO, a Mexican/Japanese fusion restaurant in the up-and-coming Kennedy Town neighborhood in Hong Kong.
We saw great opportunity in this restaurant due to both its great location and unique selling point of distinct and unlikely combinations of flavors. With our re-brand, we hoped to bring life and fun into CHINO's marketing, while still maintaining its standing appeal to trendy and sophisticated Hong Kong professionals.
The complete branding package includes a new logo and tagline, 3 marketing posters, a promotional package, the design for an app, and 3 motion graphic advertisements. Our design approach focuses on the eclectic flavor combinations with a photo-collage style, creating one composition by matching up different foods and items. We used two font families, Reklame Script for the logo and Freight Macro Pro for the headings and body text. For colors, we kept to a citrus-inspired muted palette, and incorporated an original mural (done by artist Aaron De La Cruz) on CHINO's wall into our designs.
Our new logo plays on the harmonizing of different things coming together. The accompanying tagline, "Trust me, it works." is fun and bold, challenging you to discover the restaurant's unique flavor palette.
We created a series of three posters to be placed in areas of public transportation. One was a general advertisement for the restaurant as a whole, one featured a specific menu item (we chose a drink of theirs, the Ojo Rojo), and the last was a promotion we fabricated to get people in the door. We kept the copy light and fun with bright imagery to liven up the brand image.
CHINO is a very experience based restaurant; this isn't a place you would want to have your food to-go. When faced with the task of creating a package design, we decided a good way to incorporate packaging into our brand image was to create an in-store event implementing one. We conceptualized "BYOB (Build Your Own Bento)," an event taking inspiration from Japanese bento boxes to encourage individualized discovery of flavors. The box would house compartments containing different aspects of Japanese and Mexican cuisine, along with miniature tostadas patrons can use to mix and match the ingredients. Below is our original box design, and a scale replica we mocked.
We wanted the CHINO app to be more than just an online menu. During our research, we noticed that one of the biggest problems CHINO ran into was seating. The restaurant does not take reservations, and limited space often left patrons waiting outside for an open table. To help remedy this problem, we integrated an estimated wait time, so patrons could at be prepared and better plan when to visit.
In addition, we conceptualized an in-app companion to help patrons find dishes best suited to their tastes. The "Find Your Fit" tab allows you to pick flavors you enjoy and makes suggestions of menu items containing these flavors. It also allows you to save preferences to your own personal "flavor profile," which can also be a space to store photos taken at CHINO.
Click the image to see a demo of the CHINO app using Marvel App:
The three motion graphics, shown above, bring funky music and fun movement to the CHINO brand.