For this project, I created my own brief that involved designing an identity for a small, independent night-time cafe/diner based in Central London. The cafe is aimed at night-owls and graveyard shift workers who are not interested in the bar and nightclub scene and want an easy-going, friendly space to eat, drink and spend their free time during twilight hours. The deliverables included a brand guidelines booklet with accompanying implementations.
Logo (and logo mark)
Take away packaging (including coffee packaging)
I began by curating some images that I liked to figure out the aethetic of the shop. I was drawn to quite old fashioned-style images and retro logos. I thought these would create a very friendly, cosy and inviting atmosphere.
I then started trying to brainstorm name ideas. I originally wanted to call it 'The Midnight Library' and make it a book cafe but later decided against it as I was afraid it will be associated too much with the book of the same name. In the end, I decided to call the cafe 'The Midnight Cafe' as it is simple, yet expresses the theme of the cafe clearly. It also meant I could still develop some of the sketches I did using the previous name as it was still similar.
I found myself drawn to the theme of space so I drew a lot of logos sketches featuring moons and stars. I tried to find a way in which to link the theme with the cafe icons I drew up. I liked the idea of using simple lines to represent beams of starlight but realised they ended up looking too much like sun rays.
It took me a while before I ended up working on the screen but I started off refining the logo. I experimented with a lot of different fonts and colour combinations but eventually ended up settling on a purely monochrome palette to fit the nighttime theme.
I also create a bunch of different icons and illustrations to use as part of the brand's main implementation. At first, the designs had more of a witchy theme but I eventually developed them to be more space-themed. I also darkened any imagery used to make it appear at night if needed.
I then started putting together a brand guideline booklet to use for implementing the brand to things such as signage, menus, packaging, socials and merchandise.
Here are the final images of the implementation of the branding for the cafe. I ended up going with a minimal cosmic theme to complement the name of the cafe and create a cosy vibe along with the dim lighting and interior. I included fun space and cafe related catchphrases to create a friendly tone of voice and made the guidelines simple so that they could be easily implemented in a range of formats such as merchandise, packaging and signage.
I feel like the brand reaches the intended audience as the designs are not too flashy and over the top as to look like a nightclub or bar but would still stand out in a place with a lot of nightlife.
The full brand guidelines booklet can be viewed below: