After working on the Kalamazoo Wings Hockey team identity re-design, I was again approached by Greenleaf Hospitalities, who own and operate all of the food vendors in the Radisson Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo, to help with the re-design of the identity for Zazios, one of three restaurants in the Kalamazoo Center. Zazios was opened in 2004, positioned as a restaurant/bar with an emphasis on martini culture and international cuisine. The revamp on the restaurant wanted to re-focus more on the Chef’s Table, a stadium style demonstration area where the head chef prepared food for patrons from locally source produce and ingredients.
Here’s the original profile of the restaurant: “Taste the Italian Flavors at Zazios, located on the lobby level of the Radisson Hotel, is a modern Italian experience where the food is the entertainment. Our contemporary design and aroma of succulent modern Italian cuisine set the stage for the memorable dining experience our cast and crew will provide. Our colors, curves and metal design, accompanied by our intriguing and experienced staff, will keep you entertained. We accept reservations for our Chef’s Table that begins nightly at 6:30pm. Our Chef’s Table offers a five course meal for up to 12 people in a stadium style seating environment.”
My brief was to work to achieve a identity system that would get across the sophistication of the cuisine, but to also make the venue approachable and position it as a mid-range but high class destination. Working with marketing consultant Karen Buczek, I investigated a wide range of directions, looking to differentiate the look and feel of the system from other local restaurants, but also making it have a design that would not become dated by not leaning heavily on current trends. As with all designs, I wanted to keep it simple, so that it would work in the absolute simplest formats, but also allow it to grown and adapt with the needs of the organization.
IDENTITY LOGO MARK
Logos and typemark variations for Zazios Restaurant and Bar.
ZAZIOS IDENTITY USAGE
One of the challenges on this identity system was to make it work equally well in print media as well as physical media, meaning that it needed to look good on a menu or smart phone, but also needed to work with metal, stone, glass and plastic; things that the architects and interior designers who were refurbishing the restaurant’s interiors would be using. During my sketch process, the “Z” mark came up as something that could be made out of paper, and I started out with some three-dimensional sketching that led to the final forms for the mark. I had envisioned the “Z” mark being made out of metal, wrapping around a column or wall, making it become an element of the actual build of the interior, not just a mark slapped on top of things.
BRAND STANDARDS GUIDE
I wanted to include this in the profile of this project, as having to provide a branding guide for a new identity is part of the process, but also works to test out the requirements that will be made of the new mark. In all cases, I worked to anticipate needs of the logo and how the brand would need to be used, but I also worked to make the mark adaptable for use with architectural materials (glass, plastic, metal, wood, etc.) and fabric/wearable needs. I find building the standards guide to be a good opportunity for me to finalize the mark and triple-check all aspects of what I am handing over to the client, as well as establishing a link back to me should the need arise for additional additions to the system.
ZAZIOS GRAND OPENING
Here’s the newly re-opened restaurant, with the new identity system used in the architecture and restaurant systems. Also, exterior signage and advertising.