Pentagram’s Austin office has created the brand identity and architectural graphics for Summerbird, a fast-casual restaurant featuring classic crispy or grilled chicken sandwiches, modern salads and fresh squeezed citrusades. With a flagship location in Charlotte, North Carolina, the new chicken-focused concept, developed by Silver Falcon Capital, offers wholesome food with a welcoming ambiance in a fun, relaxed, summertime environment.
The design team’s challenge was to create a memorable identity within the saturated fast-casual restaurant market. Fortunately, Pentagram Austin already had a successful track record creating memorable brand identities for chicken restaurants, mostly in the quick-service category, including Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Chickenow.
Through this lens, the design team set out to capture the essence of summertime with a brand identity that’s light-hearted and eye-catching. For the logo, the team designed a friendly “chicken-head” icon that’s abstract yet simple. The mark is based on the circular shape of a sunburst and the playful, geometric paddles of a pinwheel. Initially, the design team explored a range of more realistic chicken marks and nostalgic, southern folk-art inspired renditions but the simplicity and playfulness of the final chicken-head proved to be most effective.
The new icon, orange and warm like the sun, is complimented by a color palette of aqua and blue-greens reminiscent of the ocean and the sky on a lazy summer day. The primary typeface for Summerbird’s identity, Frontage by Juri Zaech, has a nostalgic charm while remaining modern. The supporting typeface, Messina, is a classic, no-fuss, sans-serif by Luzi Type that balances out the playfulness of Frontage and does a lot of the heavy-lifting for the brand.
The welcoming, carefree attitude of the new restaurant is not only expressed through its southern inspired food and nostalgic ethos, but also through its interior design by CORE architects. The entrance lobby includes a playful, “summery” rope-swing, “swimming pool-tile typography” and diving board inspired shelving. The design team collaborated with CORE on the restaurant’s architectural graphics and signage, both interior and exterior, as well as on the main menu board, designed to be simple, unpretentious and easy to navigate. The intended dining experience is like being entertained in a good friend’s backyard on a balmy summer evening — and like they say, “At Summerbird, Summer is a State of Mind.”