Maverick is one of the most famous surnames in the annals of Texas history and now Pentagram Austin has created a brand identity for a new Texas restaurant that proudly shares the legendary name.
Samuel Augustus Maverick was a lawyer, politician, landowner, cattle rancher and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Sam Maverick, a free-spirited character, refused to brand his cattle and allowed them to roam freely across his sprawling Matagorda Island ranchland. Eventually the other ranchers on the island began referring to his rogue livestock as “mavericks.” The term eventually came to mean a person who is independent minded and goes against the grain.
Sam Maverick’s grandson Maury Maverick was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio. He lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He famously coined the term “gobbledygook” in frustration with the convoluted language of bureaucrats. His son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.
Considering the family’s long, storied history of independent thought and its association with liberalism and progressive ideals, the Maverick name seemed like the perfect moniker for a new, independent-minded restaurant, a “Texas Brasserie,” in San Antonio that has adopted the tagline “Make Your Own Rules.”
The upscale restaurant, which sits on the border of the historic King William neighborhood in the city’s Southtown district, opened for business in an existing 1920s building beautifully refurbished by Christopher Sanders of Austin‘s Sanders Architecture. The 240-seat, 8,500 square foot restaurant―walking distance from the San Antonio River Walk, is surrounded by tropical plants and palm trees.
Given the lush green locale and the colorful history of Sam Maverick’s “independent” cattle grazing across Matagorda Island, the Pentagram team built the restaurant’s identity around a sophisticated but playful mark featuring a lone steer standing underneath a palm tree on a little green island. The logo is paired up with the word “Maverick” set in all-caps in a bold, Old West-looking Roman typeface called Matrix Inline, and the word “Southtown” set in a neighborly script called Business Penmanship.
A distinctive emerald green the shade of palm leaves, proprietor Peter Selig’s favorite color, is used throughout the restaurant’s print collateral materials, including several menu designs, coasters, napkins, business cards and matchbooks. The tasteful interior design by Mark Cravotta of Austin’s Cravotta Interiors extends the green color scheme into the dining areas and the color also makes an appearance on exterior signage, murals and window graphics designed by the Pentagram team.
The exterior wall on the north side of the restaurant features a large-scale mural of the new logo’s “lonesome island-steer,” and the south wall and awnings on the east and west entrances, feature the Maverick wordmark.
The locally renowned Norma Jeanne of Red Rider Studios hand-painted the logo lockups and additional typography in gold leaf on the windows.
The new restaurant with its innovative, “independent” cuisine by Head Chef Chris Carlson may be the Lone Star State’s first ever “Texas Brasserie.” Sam Maverick would be proud.