The Process of Branding

A Word From the Designer

L2 began collaborating with the owners of the Diner before it even had a name. Here's a description of the evolution of the logo:

When I first heard of The Diner, my mind immediately thought of things like Happy Days and girls on roller blades. It was lively and colorful, but not terribly original. Then I saw the interior designer's sketches for the restaurant, and it all changed.

The geometry and color palette reminded me of going to local diners as a child, and of the art deco movement of the 30s and 40s. We wanted to create an environment where people felt posh, yet instantly comfortable.

I studied the great architecture of the day, like the Empire State and Chrysler buildings; I used old prints of advertisements for Bugatti and champagne as inspiration for the melding of hard, mathematical shapes to create a graceful flow.

This was also the period of the 20th century, right before the creation of the Helvetica typeface, where serifed fonts began their transition to modernism. Not everything was so spartan yet, but it was on its way. That typographic history is subtle, but almost hard-wired into our nation's social consciousness. After all, think how The Diner would look if we had used Times New Roman.

Design is a congruence of history and gut feeling, and all this information doesn't do much good if it doesn't communicate. The typeface has an instant historical connection to people, and it's one that conjures images of the joy Americans felt after the second World War. The simplicity of the basic rectangle shape communicates knowledge and power, but the circular shape of the "D" makes people feel at ease. All of this knowledge and intuition comes together to create an image in the public's mind that The Diner is a quality business where everyone is treated like family.