Reponses by Scott Meisse and Mike Payne, partners, Brand Name Studio
Background: Brand Name Studio was asked to create a brand and visual system for HATCH, a new yakitori and bar restaurant opening in Downtown LA, where the competition is fierce. The goal was to create an identity that blends traditional Japanese cuisine yet reflects a modern American influence, while capturing the energy of the ambience and food. The audience targeted is a young, upscale crowd looking for a creative and sophisticated spin on traditional menus.
Reasoning: We wanted to introduce a clean type and logo system that complimented the architecture, while creating a fun team of mascots to reflect the spirit of the menu and founders. We knew we needed to make something to stand out from the competition and genuinely reflect the personality of the restaurant, so combining sophisticated with cartoon characters seemed perfect!
Challenges: The founders, Nara Latip, Daniel Shemtob, and AK Tachavatcharapa, wanted simple cartoon characters with a Japanese aesthetic, so drawing them in the style they liked while keeping them unique to HATCH was the biggest challenge. We never want to do anything that looks too familiar, and the illustrations needed to be recognizable and ownable while working within the complete identity system.
Visual influences: Modern Japanese typography combined with simple, hand-drawn artwork. We looked to the restaurant space to see what was already out there and worked backwards to make it unique and on brand.
Specific demands: We needed to match the illustrative style as closely as possible to the references HATCH wanted, while keeping the look proprietary to HATCH. This made the project much harder than expected.
Alternative approach: We wish we had asked for more free samples from the menu much earlier in the project. The food is amazing!