SOL Cocina

We’re launching a new restaurant concept, but don’t have it fully fleshed out. We need help bringing it to life.

IndustryHospitalityClientSOL CocinaEngagementStrategy, Corporate Identity, Brand Development, Print Design, Web & Interactive Design

Background

Chef Deborah Schneider and RA Sushi co-founder, Rich Howland, came to us with their idea for a new casual, yet upscale coastal Mexican restaurant concept they called SOL. With little completed in terms of interior design, we were charged with creating a brand identity for the concept that could grow with them over time and design its first guest and press facing materials.

phD created two outstanding brand identities for our sister concepts, SOL Mexican Cocina and solita Tacos & Margaritas. With his clean but memorable design of our logos, color, fonts and website, Paul wove in the essential elements of our culture in a manner that clearly conveys our inspiration and mission. On both projects, phD were easy to work with from start to finish.  —

Chef Deborah Schneider, Founding Partner   |   SOL & solita

Approach

During the design process, we discarded expected directions that incorporated the sun (“Sol” is Spanish for the sun). Instead we focused on conveying the warmth and character of the Baja coast that inspired the restaurant concept. After considerable exploration, we landed upon a stylized tile made up irregular shapes inspired by Mexican beach pebbles. We designed this element to work both as a standalone iconic device as well as a substitute for the letter O.

We developed brand identity applications using vibrant colors, pattern, texture and natural materials to convey the brand’s core attributes of friendliness, authenticity and warmth. Using an oversized blind sculptured emboss as the dominant feature of the press kit folder, we emulated the smooth character of beach pebbles. The result is a piece that is tactile, encouraging interaction and exploration of the contents inside.

phD designed the menu system for SOL to be cost-effective as well as impactful, using pre-printed shells to allow for flexibility in accommodating seasonal menu changes. We carried the brand elements and color scheme across the restaurant’s website as well, incorporating artwork and milieus from the flagship location.

We continue to work with SOL on new projects—including SOL’s sister concept, solita—as they expand to new locations throughout the West and Southwest.

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