Restaurant Branding Identity Case Study: Bahria Grand - Grand Shinwari

Today I'll be showing you the project I completed just last week with one of my local clients, Bahria Grand.

I've done a couple of designs for them but this one was major.

They had started production of some authentic 'shinwari' cuisine and wanted to expand into a proper restaurant which would be their main driver of food sales.

I was in charge of the whole branding of the new restaurant which they named "Koyela Shinwari" at first (Koyela means coal which suggested the whole menu was made in a BBQ style) but later changed to "Grand Shinwari".

This is how it went...

Firstly we had a discussion for the overall feel and look of the logo and the kind of image the company was going for and I ended up with a brief of wanting a logo that "appeals to the foreigners but has a traditional look to it."

"Shinwari" refers to the Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan. The whole kitchen team of the hotel was replaced with authentic Peshawari chefs that were experts in Shinwari cuisine, from which the idea came.

And so I started brainstorming some ideas and these were the concepts I came up with

I came up with 2 concepts and sent them to the client who then discussed it with his team:

First Koyela Shanwari Logo Concept

Second Koyela Shanwari Logo Concept
Second Koyela Shanwari Logo (symbol) Concept

After reviewing these concepts they had mixed views for both where they like some things but disliked others.

In the first concept the font was appreciated as they thought the bold slab serif font went well with their "Koyela" inspired restaurant. Also there were differences among them on whether the correct spelling of the name was 'Shinwari' or 'Shanwari' :P They didn't like the symbol (graphic) however as it was too simple.

In the second concept they overall didn't like it as they suggested it wouldn't attract foreigners and that they could not clearly identify the symbol (which was meant to be a coal on fire).

I started snooping around the net for some information and found that the most common way people had implemented different cultures into design was through their script. This made me utilize the beautiful calligraphy that exist here in Pakistan and I started experimenting with the Kufic Arabic font as it matched the brand image of the restaurant, Bold.

That gave birth to this:

Final B&W Koyela Shinwari Logo

The client loved it and suggested if it could be made more 'exciting'. They made suggestions such as adding borders or brackets etc.

The client still wasn't satisfied and demanded a symbol that might make it pop more

And so the fire symbol was added to show the flame of the restaurant:

Client was much happier but wanted to experiment a bit with the design so they sent me some stock photos of flames to be set as a background and this is how they were incorporated into the design.

Finalized Koyela Shinwari Logo

I suggested to get rid of the flame symbol as it started to overwhelm the design and this was our final design.

I'm happy, client is happy...

What could possibly go wrong?

BOOM! Something went wrong.

The client informed me that the name was already registered by a local restaurant so they changed it to "Grand Shinwari" they asked if I could incorporate the name into this same design but I informed him that, that isn't possible since the word "Koyela" was short and could go along with the Urdu script but "Grand" is written very differently in Urdu and wouldn't appeal as much.

So, we moved on to logo design no.2

First Grand Shinwari Logo Concept

This was the first concept I tried to bring the Kufic Arabic style into purely English but it just wasn't working out.

So, I upped my game a bit and went back to the old mix of Urdu + English.

The client also suggested for the color of the logo to be in Gold.

Now the logo had a nice look to it and the client started liking it but they wanted to also include their newest tagline as well, "The Authentic Shinwari Cuisine" They also didn't want me to "limit myself to a box" which meant that they wanted me to open up the design a bit rather than make it fit into a square.

And so this was the result

The client loved it but after discussing it with his team there were a lot of mixed gestures. Some weren't able to understand the logo, to some it wasn't appealing and others just thought it was too 'simple'

The clients also started comparing their logo with the ones in the hotel industry and I started to understand what the clients exactly wanted (you know that 'lightbulb' that goes "ding"? Yeah, that)

And thus, this royal imagery was born:

grand shinwari logo on white bg
Finalized Grand Shinwari Logo on white bg

grand shinwari logo on black bg
Finalized Grand Shinwari Logo on black bg

Everyone was finally satisfied

They thought the logo was attractive, modern and simple with an appeal to foreigners as it looks like an international brand

The 4 lines in between the logo are kebab skewers to represent the BBQ, I used the gold color as it gave a nice luxurious vibe to it (being an upmarket hotel, that's what I'm trying to go for)

So what are your thoughts on this? Did you enjoy the whole the journey from start to finish?

I know many designers might cringe on how frustrating it might've been to go through so many revisions and changes especially when the company changes the name of it's restaurant during the branding process.

But I really enjoyed this project because it was a rollercoaster ride and looking back at the first concept and comparing that to the last concept I'm proud of myself.

Grand Shinwari Standee displayed in Bahria Grand Hotel & Resort

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