“I’ll Have What She’s Having”

by David Brier

New York City deli sandwiches are legendary.

But for one native New Yorker, he remembers from his youth, they were… amazing.

So after years of success in his multiple careers (including winning Grammies) and now residing in Massachusetts, he decided he would restore the lost art and science of the aromatic, flavorful intoxication of fresh, steaming deli meats (i.e., pastrami, corned beef, etc.) that he loved as a young lad in his native New York City.

New York City & The Piled High Club

“I’ll have she’s having” is the famous line from that legendary scene from “When Harry Met Sally” with Meg Ryan in Katz’ Deli.

For anyone growing up in New York City (I’m a Brooklyn kid myself, so I speak from experience), deli sandwiches were mammoth entities when brought to your table, seeming to emulate the surrounding tall buildings that were part of the New York landscape.

Hence my coined phrase, The Piled High Club.

Think of my joy celebrating this culinary tradition and my love of the mosaic lettering that was part of the visual persona of New York City and its culture.

Like Pastrami, It’s All in the Details

To give you an idea of what was involved, I essentially had to study and recreate mosaic tile lettering from the subways of NYC after I tore into one of these during the photo shoot:

OK, I felt satiated for now.

Too many designers today “pick fonts” as part of the branding process.

I am old school in that I create typography for the brands I develop. If there’s a font that helps me get there, OK. But I design first and then see what’s around to help my clients have that unique voice.

Here are two detail shots from my computer to show the work done to recreate these:

New York City: Just Like I Pictured It

Then I had to essentially recreate a world from this stylistic foundation, a world which this incredible flavor and aroma would happily call home.

I had to work out all the tiling and mosaic lettering so it all fit together, like a typographic puzzle reverse-engineered.

Then came the various other parts of the branding:

And no brand from New York City would be complete without a vintage bicycle, a delivery truck and a lamppost:


Originally published at www.risingabovethenoise.com