Will Work for Food

Design can change the world... especially when your world is awesome BBQ and smoked ribs! Our design firm just happens to be down the street from one of Nashville’s favorite BBQ joints—Hog Heaven. When the wind is blowing just right, the heavenly aroma lures us down the sidewalk to the little rib shack run by our pals Katy and Andy Garner. They sure do know BBQ, ribs and sauces... but they admittedly don’t know how to create a brand for their amazing food. Since we love eating BBQ and we happen to know a thing or two about branding, we figured this would be a match made in heaven!

 Owner Katy Garner poses under her new sign with 2 mocked-up bottles of sauce. (The sauce will hit the market soon.)

 This hand-painted alley wall was the only branding Hog Heaven had. (Notice the original hand-lettering on the hog’s butt!)

Katy & Andy called to tell us that Food Network was coming to film a special about their famous white sauce. We had talked for a long time about creating a logo, branding, store signs, and designing some packaging that would help them take their sauce to market. Now we had a real deadline of 3 weeks to make it all happen before they found themselves on national TV without any branding. (They have been in business since 1986 and all this time, they never even had a sign out front to let folks know where they were located! People just followed their noses to get there!)

  

We started with sketched logos, then created color options, and finally chose a winner. Then we applied the logo, colors, & fonts to a menu, t-shirts, and new art for a bricko block wall that one of their employees had painted several years ago. We also mocked up some bottles for their sauces which are due to hit the market this Fall. (We will unveil the sauce labels in the near future!)

Our goal was to give Hog Heaven some cool new branding that looked like it had always been there. Part of Hog Heaven’s charm is that it is a little old BBQ shack next to a crappy biker bar, near to Centennial Park. Everything we designed needed to suggest hand-pulled pork at a casual, friendly “mom & pop” dive.

 

 

These sketches were just a little too cute. So we tried some other options to make the brand a bit more serious.

After a few rounds of sketches, we dreamed up some fun color options. Once we narrowed down the concepts to a final design, we had about 2 days to whip out art for signs, menus, t-shirts, sauce labels, and the alley wall (which Katy and Andy stayed up until 3 am painting the night before Food Network arrived for filming!

Katy & Andy spent 48 hours painting, installing signs, etc. on the hottest days of the year. All this was done on a shoe-string budget, for the love of design and hot BBQ. To keep the design fees low, we agreed to trade-out a bunch of design time for free food. It was a lot of work under hellish conditions, but the results are quite heavenly!


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