Blankets & Brie: A Hip New Spot for Charcuterie
Putting a community-centered spin on the classic cheese and wine picnic.
Blankets and Brie is an outdoor picnic space that focuses on cheese boards, wine, and bringing people together. Customers order the boards through an iPad, which is efficient, customizable, and involves the whole group in the decision-making process. The outdoor dining space focuses on community, featuring daily live music events, movies, and game nights.
Set in sunny Malibu, Blankets & Brie is the perfect picnic spot for people to enjoy some quality time with the people they love.
The goal of Blankets & Brie is to provide the freshest cheeses and meats that people will enjoy (as well as including substitutes for those who cannot enjoy those items), and also fun community events for those who love to spend time outside with their friends.
Some adjectives to describe the brand are playful, warm and cheesy (hah!) and I used bold colors, checkerboard patterns, and color blocked vector illustrations to bring that vision to life. For my final deliverables, I created a prototype for a tablet ordering system, outdoor advertising, indoor advertising for events, merchandise, and a social media layout.
As the name of the restaurant is Blankets & Brie, I really wanted to place an emphasis on the ampersand, and create a symbol of it that would feature in the brand identity.
Since the name also has alliteration in the “B’s,” I also wanted to make the B of the typeface into the ampersand, instead of using the one the typeface already provided. The bold orange also makes the symbol pop out from the rest of the logo.
I knew I wanted to create a badge logo, but it was unclear to me what shape would work with the name, the ampersand, and the rest of the branding. In the end, I settled on a triangular wedge with softened edges that would reflect the classic shape of cheese.
Despite all these parts coming together, the bottom of the symbol had a bit too much white space. I connect the image of the ribbon a lot with farms, fairs, and those contests where you’re trying to grow the largest pumpkin or something, so I thought it could be a fun detail I’d keep as a motif throughout the brand. Surprisingly, it ended up playing a huge role in the responsiveness of the logo.
Featured Design: Interactive Ordering System
I prototyped the tablet ordering system on Adobe XD, first starting with paper sketches and a more basic wireframe. I already knew I wanted a wide layout, similar to the one Unif Clothing uses, and I also wanted to include illustrations for personality. As for transitions, I typically went for sliding movements, as it felt more fun and aligned more with the brand. There was a lot of research that went into deciding what items would pair well together on a board, and also for finding vegan options for those who cannot consume dairy. I also really like the “Hold to submit” that Chipotle has on their app, so I wanted to do a similar “Slide to submit” with a drag transition to minimize the chance of accidental orders.
Supporting Design Element #1: Outdoor Advertising
I thought outdoor advertising would be a good way to get the name of the brand out there. Since one of the personality traits of the brand is “cheesy,” I wanted to use some punchy lines to make the brand more memorable. I came up with some cheese puns, “Here for a gouda time” and “Brie your best self.” Hopefully these signs will let potential onlookers know that there’s a new cheese business in town!
Supporting Design Element #2: Event Poster
As someone who loves designing posters, I had a lot of fun incorporating the shape and illustration elements of B&B into this one. I kept the color scheme and the rounded shapes that are prominent throughout my brand. I also knew I wanted to add a QR code, as they are super popular nowadays for easy access to a webpage (in this case, the sign-up form for the event).
Supporting Design Element #3: Merchandise
For the merchandise, I just wanted to have fun and design something that I know would be something I would want to purchase. I’ve really been into the recent resurgence in Finnish design and checkerboard patterns, as well as colors that are more bold. To echo the checkerboard in the tablet prototype, I decided to use it in my apron and blanket as well. The aprons would be worn by the staff, the shirts would be sold either on site or on the web, and the blankets would be provided to patrons. The thought of everyone on the field with their checkerboard blankets is one that brings a smile to my mind, I love it.
Supporting Design Element #4: Social Media
The socials had to have the same pop and boldness as the rest of the brand, and Instagram was the perfect place to flesh out Blanket & Brie’s internet identity.
Due to the illustrations I made, photography wasn’t as much of a strong factor in the rest of my branding, so I really wanted to go ham for the Instagram. Most restaurants’ socials feature mainly photography, but I wanted to do a sort of blend of food photography, cheese info, running promotions and events. Thinking of a way I could tie the feed together, I thought of those rounded shapes again and decided I could incorporate them on the edges of the photos in a way that wouldn’t distract. The socials continue to be fun and whimsical, and I found a way to also translate the event poster to Instagram format.
The restaurant project as a whole taught me a lot about creating a brand story from scratch and the process behind it. Not to mention, I learned a few tidbits about cheese pairings that would definitely help the next time I make a charcuterie.