Smokey Moe's Rebranding Challenge
I was given a design challenge by Adobe certified instructor Dan Walter Scott, to take a nearby fast food joint and upscale it. The purpose was so the owner could charge 3x the price of his food, with only a rebrand.
With that in mind, Smokey Mo's was a local BBQ in the Austin, TX area which is very popular and successful. I began work by keeping some elements the same (identifiers such as Mo's face, stars in the brand, similar colors, etc) while modernizing the whole look to give a feel of upscale BBQ.
A lot of sketching is always important to laying out ideas, and gathering a sense of what will work. Exercises such as Crazy 8's and storyboards as well as simple pen-to-paper methods bring out the best ideas in brainstorming for a great product.
Identifiers must remain consistent for a rebranding project, if the main elements are changed too much they become unrecognizable. For example, keeping Mo's outline was important, but by removing the eyes, it turned the logo into a more simplified modern look but still recognizable. A mind map helped me to brainstorm the best ways to keep the important elements.
A small-scale competitive audit report was necessary in order to update the brand for a modern look, and I looked at at competitors in Austin, TX which are upscale, trendy, and successful. Those key elements included things like the use of wood, which can be seen in my digital updated concept. Also, font plays a critical part in branding and it was important to find a font that represented an upscale look (such as cursive text) but also trendy and "smoky" to depict BBQ.
Creating a mood board on Behance helped to combine these elements into the updated logo.
It is critical to receive feedback in order to understand if a design is successful. Knowing this, I reached out to the BYOL community to share my design and ask for their thoughts. What they shared was important in this process, to be able to objectively view the design and get fresh perspective. After speaking with several designers, I realized this first attempt needed more revision and to include more of the elements of the competitive audit.
My final submission for the rebranding challenge was critiqued on a Youtube livestream feed with over 800 viewers, and I received compliments from Dan and my colleagues.