Part 5 – Exercise 7: The French Hen

Newton and Ridley, the brewers best known for their pub, The Rovers Return, are opening a cafe/wine bar nearer the city centre. The bar is designed to appeal to younger women and sophisticated young men. The brewery has identified a gap in the market and wants to provide a ’sophisticated and relaxed’ venue for the ‘discerning’ drinker. This bar is to be called the French Hen and will be in direct competition with the cheap ‘binge drinking’ venues on the same street. The brewery is also trying to enhance its own image as a ‘respectable’ alcohol vendor. They want you to develop some ideas for a logo, to be used:
• on covers for the food and cocktail menus
• in colour on the signage outside, and as a cutout for a window detail
• on T-shirts for the staff and paper napkins
• for one side of a beer mat, the other will carry advice on sensible drinking.

There are many conventions that have been developed around the marketing of both bars and products to this age range. You need to be conscious the whole time of avoiding clichés and stereotyping.

Draw up at least three ideas to start with. Be critical of your work. Check it against the information you have here. Will it do what the client wants – and how will you know?  When you have decided which one you are happiest with, mock up the menu covers, the outside sign, the window detail, a T-shirt, paper napkin and beer mat. Does it all still work?

Summary of Requirements

  • Logo for a new cafe / wine bar – the French Hen located near city centre
  • Sophisticated and relaxed venue for the ‘discerning’ drinker
  • Aimed at young women and ‘sophisticated men’
  • In competition with near by ‘binge drinking’ venues.
  • Logo is required for use on food and cocktail menu, signage outside (colour) and cut out for window, napkins, staff T-Shirts, beer mat.

Keywords

  • French Hen
  • Sophisticated
  • Relaxed
  • Discerning
  • Respectable
  • Cafe / Wine Bar
  • City Centre

Objectives

To create a logo that visually identifies the French Hen cafe / wine bar.

The logo should be clearly recognisable, and convey the ethos of the wine bar as a sophisticated, relaxed and respectable venue.

As the cafe / wine bar is targeted at ‘discerning’ drinkers, the logo should suggest more expensive quality rather than price-driven quantity.

The logo should be appealing to young women and sophisticated men, equally it should discourage ‘binge drinkers’.

The logo should be original and avoid cliches and stereotypes

The logo should work well on all product types (menus, T-shirts etc.) and at different sizes.

Missing Information

Does the Brewery have a particular style that should be reflected in the French Hen logo?

What is the styling of the venue like? e.g. modern minimalist, shabby chic, opulent luxury, up-market country pub etc. Ideally the logo should reflect the general styling of the venue.

Are there any particular colours that feature in the venue interior styling that could be carried through to the logo?

Research

Other wine bar / cafe logos

I started by researching the logos of other cafes and wine bars. Examples are below.

Typical ‘cliches’?

I felt that typical cliches for a pub or wine bar called the French hen, would most likely be:

  • Images that included a wine bottle or a wine glass
  • The French flag
  • The Eiffel Tower
  • Art Deco styling or fonts (which are often associated with France – particularly Paris), e.g. Limelight from Google Fonts

  • Text resembling a French wine bottle label

 

vs Contemporary Styling?

Styling which I felt was quite contemporary and popular at the moment, includes:

  • Minimalist, light weight, sans serif line fonts
  • Line drawings
  • Botanical-style drawings and general Victoriana / Hipster styling
  • Watercolour

 

Idea Generation

I drew a mind map to think about words, images, concepts and ideas for a logo for the French Hen:

I also did some general searching on the internet for inspiration

I then sketched out some ideas:

and identified some fonts that I thought would work in the logo:

The following are from Google Fonts:

I selected three ideas to take further and draw up.

Proposed Designs

 

 

 

 

 

I reviewed the designs with my husband and together we selected the logo of the outline of the hen. We felt the minimalist styling of this logo had a contemporary feel with a hint of ‘modern art’ about it, suggesting sophistication. However the image of the hen was quite young and fun.

Mockups

Looking at the work of other students, I noticed that many of them were superimposing their logos onto photographs of objects to create the mockups. After doing some research on-line, I have learnt that this is a very typical method that designers use to showcase their logo designs in context.

I looked on-line for some free mockup templates that I could use. Sites such as http://www.mockupworld.co and graphicburger.com were useful resources for free mockups, although I did struggle a bit to find mockups for all the items I had to create. Understanding how to manipulate other people’s PSD files was also a bit of a challenge when I could not quite understand what the author of the mockup had done to create the file.

I decided that I wanted my French Hen logo to be displayed as white on a black background. The final mock ups are below:

Does the Logo Work?

Although my selected logo was quite simple, I was pleased with it and I thought it did work well on the various mockup items. The only exception is perhaps the outside sign, where I felt the logo would have looked better were the hen looking out onto the street rather than looking towards the wall. Interestingly, I have only now realised that my logo is not easily reversible.

As part of this exercise, I also realised that the colour of the object that the logo is going to be displayed on is an important consideration. If I had included colour in my logo, such as dark blue and then only afterwards found out that all the items it would have been displayed on were to be black, the contrast between the blue and black would not have worked.

I think, therefore, as part of the exercise of logo design, it is important to understand, not just what the logo is to be used for and where it will be displayed, but what are the background colours and textures of the items that the logo will be displayed on.

Thoughts on This Exercise

I enjoyed the process of developing the French Hen logo although I found it quite difficult to think of many original ideas for the designs.  As I have often found with this course, I am frequently torn between trying to think of an original design and wanting to use more ‘obvious’ imagery that viewers will understand, which then feels cliched. I started with exercise determined not to use a drawing of a hen for my logo and yet that was exactly what I ended up with.

This exercise also raised an interesting question of what exactly was a cliche?  Particularly, when does ‘modern and contemporary’ become ‘boring cliche’? I wanted to use a outline drawing for my logo because I felt that this style was quite fashionable and would create a modern and sophisticated logo that young people could connect with, but does ‘fashionable’ make it cliched or not very original, if everyone is doing it?  Perhaps the answer is to produce some designs which are in keeping with current trends and some which are completely different and see what the client makes of them.

Another interesting part of this exercise was my introduction to the world of mockup templates. I realised not only how important it was to understand exactly what the logos would be displayed on but also how much more impact the designs had when they could be seen ‘in situ’. It would be preferable to create a set of mockups specifically for the design task or purchase an appropriate complete set, rather than find random templates on the internet. The quality of the mockup is important for the presentation of the design and should accurately reflect the products the logo is likely to be displayed on, should be the correct colour and have consistent styling across all the items so that the presentation of the mockups has more impact.

Tutor Feedback

My tutor made the following comments on this exercise:

“Your French Hen has appeal – I like his simplicity, how he sits with some nice clean type but also how he seems rather friendly, relaxed and approachable. For these reasons I think he works well to suggest a sophisticated venue that is laid-back which would appeal to the audience. In your critique it would be worth answering the following questions –
• does anything of the logo suggest ‘french’ and how do you tread this tightrope of
connotation, crassness and cliche?
• how would someone know this was a wine bar? Where are the nods to this embedded? (I think there are hints and certain subtle elements that do this but I think it would be healthy for you to articulate this)”

The logo does not have any obvious symbols associated with France such as a bottle of wine or a French flag but I do think the logo hints at being ‘French’ in a more subtle way. The minimalist style gives a sense of elegance, style and sophistication – attributes often associated with being French. I also think the upright stance of the hen’s head and the eye that seems to be looking right at you, is quite proud. Pride in your appearance is again something I associated with being French. My hen could almost be wearing her comb like a beret.

How would someone know this logo was a wine bar? I think the name suggests very much that this is a pub, wine bar or restaurant. “The Something (and) Something” is a very traditional British way to name a pub or restaurant.. ‘The Dog and Duck’, ‘The Golden Hind’, ‘The Fat Duck’. Also using animals in the name also feels quite traditional for a pub, so I would guess that a business called ‘The French Hen’ was, maybe not a traditional pub, due to having ‘French’ in the title but certainly a wine bar, cafe or restaurant.  The line drawing of the Hen is a style which is quite popular with bars and restaurants at the moment. Because the line drawing is quite minimalist and sophisticated, this would hint at a more sophisticated establishment such as a wine bar or smart restaurant.

 

 

 

 

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