Seafood cuisine from around the world, delivered to you. A branding case study.
Our group was given the opportunity to create and design a restaurant in the times of COVID-19. In our research, we found a lack of authentic/cultural restaurants in the Philadelphia suburbs, resulting in the creation of “Hooked”. Our company’s goal is to reach an audience that may have an interest in diverse foods. Additionally, in response to COVID-19, we have developed a business model similar to Blue Apron but with a focus in fish cuisines. This is to strive for a healthier diet and to tackle the ambiguity issue in the restaurant. We stayed away from the idea of a dine-in service and stuck to a meal-kit delivery service because dine-in restaurants could potentially put our customers and staff in danger.
Problems and Experience
People are more inclined to eat comfort food and fast food. During the first months of the pandemic, takeout became the only option for people to get an ideal “restaurant experience.” However, a lot of these takeout options tend to be comfort food or fast food which has a lack of diversity. Due to the stress people are in during this time, these two options tend to be popular for ordering. This service will allow people to diversify their taste buds.
Naming and Content Creation
Initially, our company was focused on three regions that we all individually chose. This brought us some issues as our individual work wasn’t able to find a common ground, making us focus on what these regions have in common: seafood. We thought about different breeds of fish, forms of travel, bodies of water and anything related to cooking.
The name “Hookd” ended up being what we chose as apps tend to be only one word that rolls off the tongue. “Hookd” related to fishing while it can also mean to draw someone in. Eventually, we decided to change the spelling by adding back the “e” in “Hooked” as the final product.
Initial App/Website Design
For our app, we created a user flow. As a meal prep service, the main priority was trying to figure out a system that’ll be simple enough for the user to see instructions of the food they ordered. A system that would be universal for the regions they chose was also important since it would make our branding cohesive.
After creating the user flow, we started working on the wireframe of our app. We took these ideas into Adobe XD and created a layout. The components we were focused on were the signup page, the ordering system, the homepage, and additional pages such as videos where tutorials on how to cook meals would be.
At first, we thought about making the user sign up to gain access to our ordering system. However, after some feedback, we realized that it would be better if we showcased how an already existing user would order through our app. We ended up adding a preorder section and placed our ordering system there as it would’ve made more sense for a user who has ordered before. Another issue we faced was how we made 4 deliveries every week. As a company, we wanted to help out local businesses that do not have the same amount of supplies as major corporations do. This meant that we have to change our deliveries once a week as it would be more realistic.
When coming up with user personas, we thought, “Who would benefit most from this? Who would enjoy this concept?” We started to think about people around us and who we knew. What were some of their common habits, what other similarities did they share, etc. In the end, we came up with the ideas of Taylor and Kyle.
Ethnographic and Demographic
People who live in suburban or rural areas tend to lack cultural restaurants in their areas. This is because these areas contain a larger white population. Restaurants that go outside of American/European food have less of an audience to cater to in these neighborhoods. Therefore, those who live in these areas don’t have as many options as those who live in the city. This can be a quick way of introducing seafood dishes from all around the world to these neighborhoods.
“Demographically, the suburbs are racially and ethnically more diverse than rural communities but less diverse than urban areas. Overall, suburban counties and small metro areas are 68% white, 14% Hispanic, and 11% black”
While coming up with this idea of our fish meal delivery service, we came to notice there were already a couple of companies out there who had similar concepts. We started questioning to ourselves, “is this really an original idea? How can we make this app our own without people comparing it to others?” We then went on to research some of the most popular food delivery companies and apps. We looked to see the pros and cons of these apps and services. What were some features they had that made them be so successful. All of these factors helped us in creating our company.
Branding and Deliverables
As a team, we reached a conclusion to include a website, app, packaging box, instructional recipe card, apron, tote bag, and a social media platform (instagram) into our system. In the creation of Hooked, the online presence will be the backbone of this company and how it operates. We shifted from a traditional restaurant dine-in model to combat the issue of COVID-19. The online presence including the app, the website, and the social media platform plays an important role in the meal-kit delivery service business model we adopted due to the restrictions placed on public dining.
Achi Peralta Espinal
At the beginning of my process, I wanted to create a logo that gave off a little bit of personality and playfulness. Originally, I thought the idea of a realistically drawn trout with a cartoon chef’s hat would be funny to present. I later simplified it to the point where the outline of the fish would be recognizable. Then, I started to adjust the positioning of the hook and added a water background. I changed the colors to be more vibrant and more representative of the Caribbean as it was the region I was focusing on.
There was a lot of change that was made to give me the results of my final product. While researching the country I was inspired to do (Russia), I came across Russian folk art. My heart was immediately sold. The rich reds and golds used in each pattern were so beautiful. Speaking of the patterns, the fine detail in all of them were so lovely to look at. The graceful curves in them made your eye follow it all over. I just knew I had to incorporate these in my aesthetic.
From the jump, my vision for “Hooked” was this sleek and modern look. I first started the ideation with Asian cuisines, though I had to keep the aesthetic in a broad direction due to scale of the brand. The idea was always there, I wanted a fish inside of an H, and through trial and error I ended up with an upper-case H with a fish as a negative shape. With the simplicity of the logo, I was able to apply minimalistic patterns and graphic elements to further assist the overall look.
The social media presence, Instagram, serves as a way to direct potential users to discover our service. The Hooked app will be the driving force as it allow consumers to order and to view the meal plans provided for each month. Finally, we designed the website to only work as a tool to guide customers back the app and to inform additional information about Hooked.
To reiterate, the Hooked app is the only way the consumer is able to view and to order our service.
When we were first designing our brand, we struggled to find a common ground within our individual work as the aesthetics of the countries we were focusing on had vastly different aesthetics. Luckily, we were able to cross that barrier and were able to complete it given our circumstances.
This project was definitely a new challenge for us. We didn’t expect to be living in a global pandemic, I don’t think anyone did. There were a lot of new obstacles we had to face and overcome in order to make this assignment work. Although the adjustments were a challenge at first, we were able to succeed.
Project Manager and Designer: Raphael Worotikan
Production Manager and Designer: Emma Morelli
Presenter/Creative Lead and Designer: Achi Peralta Espinal
Professor: Bryan Satalino, Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University