(Image Source: Here)
Here are Chef Roland and Chef Jac in front of the Guevarra’s entrance.
Once the owners picked a logo for the restaurant, they also decided to merge elements they liked from the other logo option. So it was the second logo combined with the color scheme of the first one. No yellows and blacks, but more of a black & white, sepia look. They also liked the homburg hat!
I also developed a whole new pattern for the other materials. They liked my earlier pattern proposal, but found the Greek keys too busy. I came up with something a lot simpler but still looks vintage and homey. Spy the homburg on this placemat!
I also proposed using this same pattern for the menus. I think of printing directly on wood and using clipboards to be able to switch offerings easily.
The placemat, menus, and the shopping bag haven’t made it to production just yet but I’ll show you which ones actually got printed.
I’m really pleased to report that the designs that ended up getting printed used the photos we were able to get from the US Library of Congress and the Filipinas Heritage Library. Joel and I love the Filipinas Heritage Library. One of our first dates was there and I used to take photography lessons there in high school.
I was familiar with their services and at that time it was still at the Neilsen Tower (Joel and I go nuts over aviation), so it was just a few streets away from where we lived. Who knew it had all the pictures we were looking for?
It our first time to go over their picture database and I think we were able to download around 20 of them for only Php200 each!
I used one of the library pictures for this flyer:
Here are gift certificates I designed:
Now I had an interesting plan for some of the library pictures. Guevarra’s had huge window partitions in the restaurant and wanted to put some graphic accents on it.
So I had the idea of printing the pictures on translucent stickers and mounting them to the glass. Here is one of them in action with broadcaster Bobby Yan.
(Image Source: Here)
I thought it was an awesome way of displaying the photos in a unique and modern way. The windows are one of my favorite parts in the place.
Joel and I were also tasked to give suggestions on how to dress the staff. The staff though ended up going down a more modern route. I guess my ideas were just too much, haha.
(pictures taken from the Guevarra’s Facebook Page)
I’ve been raring to write about this for a while and since Guevarra’s (an amazing Filipino buffet restaurant) has opened a couple of weeks ago (with tables booked for days and days!), I can now talk about about the work Joel and I put into it.
When we brand something complex like a restaurant, we do a lot of research and try to pare down what traits we should focus on executing visually. The group behind Guevarra’s acquired an old house in San Juan that was built in 1929. The house is in P. Guevarra and they decided to name the restaurant after the great Filipino statesman Pedro Guevarra, the namesake of the street. He was a senator during the Commonwealth Period — he belongs to the same era as the house!
The concept is also the latest venture of Chef Laudico, famous for his Bistro Filipino and his personal advocacy of promoting innovative Filipino cuisine. These were the crucial ingredients in the brand’s characteristics.
I think Filipino food is blowing up and is finally in the spotlight it so rightly deserves. It’s blowing up so fast that I had to take note of all the competitors to figure out how I can make Guevarra’s different. I personally LOVE Filipino food so it wasn’t too hard listing down all the competitors because I’ve been to most of them already.
We took down a lot of observations but were able to reduce the Guevarra’s main proposition into this phrase: “Fine Experiential Dining for the Filipino”
I had the visual direction and verbal cue, so now it was time to work!
My first study revolved around the idea of how Pedro Guevarra would accessorize himself. I thought of an old office and imagined what a senator would keep in it. I thought of typewriters and typing tape and that inspired my font selection and look for the logo.
In most of his pictures, he can be seen wearing a homburg hat (not a fedora, not a porkpie) and I got the idea of making a secondary icon out of it. I love kraft paper and recommend it every chance I get but in this instance I found it even more suitable because they remind me of official documents.
(I used pictures from Photo Kitchen to show nicely photographed Filipino food)
On to the next study! (Spoiler alert: This was the one that got chosen)
My mood board title summed up my inspiration quite nicely: “Old World Hospitality” I got the idea from big ancestral homes that threw the best parties. I thought of an old matriarch supervising the kitchen to execute heirloom recipes. This take is a lot warmer and I peppered it with a lot of ’20s and ’30s accents.
For the logo, you can’t get any more ’20s with Futura, designed in 1927 by Paul Renner.
I wanted to use a vintage Greek key pattern as an accent (notice the sneaky G’s) and a light shade of lime (it looks fresh and garden-like). I promise it’s lime!!! I still have to figure out how to translate into RGB the swatches I pick out from the Pantone books. In real life it looks green but on screen, it’s a screechy shade of yellow.
In the paper bag, you kinda get a glimpse of the lime, but sadly the screechy yellow proved to be my undoing (more on that in the next post). Since I curated the mood around a vintage hospitality theme, I had to think of a way to inject more of P. Guevarra into the picture.
Luckily I was able to find high-res photos of the guy in the US Library of Congress website. What was he doing in the US Library of Congress, you say? Pedro Guevarra was part of a Filipino-led delegation to the United States to discuss Philippine Independence. Most of his only pictures were of that trip and we were able to get our hands on some.
The owners picked study 2, but with a bunch of revisions. I’ll get into that next.
I did some promo materials (a poster and two tent card designs) for Sariwon Korean Barbecue. I modified their promotional template, which I designed last year, by designing an anniversary logo and doing my usual playful typography. I also did some simple line illustrations — not something I usually do! This was a quick enough project, but I’ll show you the rounds of revisions we went through before ending up using the original template anyway, haha.
This is the original template for banners. The idea is to use the badge shape from the Sariwon logo as the blank space to place content in. The backgrounds can either be the standard temple/gradient picture they use for materials or a pink/orange variation with white tree accents in the back.
Naturally, the anniversary promo material should look a bit more special so that gives us more license to play around and break away from templates. To keep branding consistent, I made sure to keep the color scheme of black, pink, orange, and brown.
I always start with two options:
For study 1, I experimented with an oriental geometric look. To make the background less plain, I kept the same temple picture, switched it to brown and added a brush texture. The brush texture was to complement using the brush script in the anniversary logo. I kept “Sariwon” in its original font, then added something with a flourish, as requested by the owners — hence the script font.
This is also where I thought of using a simple illustration to highlight the promo. I opted for a simple line drawing because there was so much going on in the background already.
My second study is usually the more experimental one. I played around with the idea of a woven texture (very Asian and similar to the patterns found in the restaurant’s partitions) and used the Sariwon badge to create the anniversary logo.
I wanted this one to be edgy and modern since Sariwon’s restaurant is the updated alternative to most of the traditional ones found in Manila. No illustrations here. I kept the layout clean for the tent card and let the fonts do the talking.
The owners picked the first direction. They liked the brush fonts (they wanted to amp it up, even) but wanted to minimize the geometrics. This what I presented:
I made the borders more colorful and I think I was channeling Sonia Rykiel’s collection for H&M that came out a while back when I was doing it:
Right? I love this! I wouldn’t wear it but I love it! I find stripes awesome because they’re so clean but they can do a good job of making something pop by manipulating their colors and weights. Since I had to show the second tent card, I did illustration number 2: a line drawing of a sundae. I also added some confetti circles to fill up empty space.
Sadly, the owners still weren’t so sold. They found the brown too somber and wanted something that looked more cheerful. They suggested using an orange background and doing away with the stripes (NOOOO! My stripes!). They really liked my font choices, so we kept them, but with giving more emphasis to the “1” in the Sariwon anniversary logo.
I kept the brush texture in the background, but did away with the temple picture since it darkened things. To make things even more “cheerful,” I introduced the idea of sparkles and the same delicate confetti from the stripe study (not so obvious when rendered small, but if you look closely you’ll see it).
I loved it, but in hindsight I think it’s because it reminded me of:
Eventually, the owners realized that we got so carried away with the revisions that we strayed so far from branding. Boys and girls, no matter what, don’t stray from branding. As we ended with the original template, I carried with it all the things we liked best from the earlier passes, so no, it really wasn’t a waste of time. Another day, another design process.
And do check out the promo! I always love the food here. Order the Sariwon Bulgogi!
I only posted an inspiration post once since this blog went live. I don’t have an official portfolio; I send prospective clients this way to see my work and I felt like I shouldn’t litter this space so much with things that aren’t mine.
This new discovery of mine is so good that I really can’t help myself this time. Dear prospective client, please click on the category that says “DESIGN PROCESS” — that’s where the good stuff is. I’ve been too hard on myself, sometimes I just need to share cool things!
I first discovered sticker wallpapers through the Aesthete’s feature on Audrey Gelman’s apartment.
Audrey Gelman is my age and is the press secretary for the Office of the Mayor of New York City. She’s dating Terry Richardson (no comment) and is also Lena Dunham’s best friend. Yes, Lena Dunham from the TV show Girls, my perpetual obsession.
People say that she’s the real-life inspiration for Marnie — the go-getting, self-righteous, “mature” friend among the four girls. Most people I know hate her character so much but she’s my favorite. Anyway, things got meta when Audrey guest starred in the show as Marnie’s ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend, conveniently named Audrey, too.
She currently lives in an apartment formerly inhabited by Lena. While Lena was there, she helped out in decorating by hooking them up with designer Payton Cosell Turner of Flat Vernacular. She’s also a girl in her 20’s (always an awesome thing) and one of her product offerings is custom sticker installations in any form. I think of it as the grownup version of the sticker fandom of our youth.
They commissioned her to create something for Lena and the result was a bunch of little French fry, video reel, book stickers.
Not limited by anything, you can spot floral sticker rolls, as well as fish equipment-themed ones with their other offerings.
And arranged in any way you want. (Last two pictures are from here)
I love them. I can already imagine hours of getting lost putting the stickers together.
Hello, new followers! All five of you! (I used to make jokes about the followers I have, about how only three people read this, but I assure you, new followers, there are only 5 of you, for realz!) To you new followers: I feel especially motivated to post more entries. I’m doing a very slow climb with this industry and I’m grateful for anyone interested in what I do.
This is the first press I’ve gotten for graphic design work (sort of) and it was fun getting dolled up and fussed over. A really old friend of mine, Jenna, got in touch with me and she knew about my new hermit lifestyle. We’ve known each other since elementary school and I was one of her earliest test subjects when she first started doing photography.
And the makeup! I loved my makeup so much (read: wonder eyebrows!) that I kept it on the whole day. I’m heading over to a Shu Uemura counter one of these days to purchase the lipstick used on me. Oh and guess what? I did my own hair in this shoot! The stylist taught me how to do a messy bun for the first time in my life.
My work station really does look like the that. I’m sitting on that pink chair right now as I type this. I also wish I had the foresight to put concealer on my 11 year old ankle tattoo.
Link to the Article: If These Walls Could Talk
Photos by JENNA V. GENIO, Styled by CARLA VILLANUEVA, Makeup by SHARON SOLEDAD for for Shu Uemura