Brand + Identity
As someone who has spent a good chunk of time working in bars and restaurants, I always enjoy projects that allow me to utilize that experience. Branding Baker’s was an opportunity to step back behind the bar, but this time as a designer. Baker’s is a cozy craft cocktail bar in the Sunset Hill neighborhood of Seattle. The owner, Brian Smith, is a cocktail industry veteran who wanted his first bar venture to focus on well-made cocktails and small, sophisticated bites. Brian was in need of a logo, menu design, print collateral, and overall branding and identity for the bar.
Baker’s is a name derived from Charles H. Baker, an often forgotten but incredibly influential icon in the history of cocktails. Both the namesake and location of the bar served as inspiration when developing the brand of the bar.
There's no shortage of bars in Seattle, and it can be difficult for a new business to stand out from the rest. Because the bar had no existing branding yet, there was an opportunity to create something entirely new, coupled with the challenge of designing for a space that was still being created.
The visual tone I developed came from hours of historical research and an analysis of existing bars in the Seattle area and outside of the city. Ultimately, the client wanted something that felt timeless and modern while still envoking nostalgia; to help achieve this, a warmer color palette and vintage-inspired type were used.
brand guidelines, logo, menu design + illustrations, matchbooks, coasters, environmental graphics, business cards, website design
During my initial meeting with Brian, we discussed the historical connection to Baker’s, as well as the history of the neighborhood. I began my own research with a competitor analysis of existing cocktail bars both in and outside of Seattle. After distilling commonalities and taking notes on design decisions that would stand out as different, I went to the library. I combed through countless magazines and design books from the 1930s and 40s to find type and graphic inspiration. I also looked through Charles H. Baker’s A Gentleman’s Companion to get a strong sense of tone of voice and visuals used. From there, I began creating for type and visual style.
Creating the logo for Baker’s took about four rounds of iterations. While I played with the idea of going literal and including Charles Baker’s face, we ultimately settled on exploring the idea of a more modern, geometric cocktail glass illustration. The cocktail in the final logomark mimics the coupe glasses used in the bar, but its angles give it a modern tone; a subtle sunset can also be seen in the line design on the glass. Below are the three final, full color logo versions.