Restaurant Logo Design — An Indian Restaurant Example
Restaurant logo design might seem easy. You take the restaurant’s theme, slap on a stylish font, and you’re good to go! Right? Wrong! Any designer will tell you that’s not the case. Designing a good logo for any restaurant involves significant work on the back-end, and that’s even before you put pen to paper. It’s no different for an Indian restaurant, an example we’ll use in a bit.
Keys To A Good Restaurant Logo
There are some necessary steps to creating a fantastic restaurant logo, and they apply to all operations, segments, and demographics.
Know the Restaurant Brand
A restaurant’s brand identity is far more than the colors and graphics. Creating a good restaurant logo requires that you understand the company that will use it, the people who “run the ship,” so to speak. Without this knowledge, you risk creating a soulless logo with no real connection to the restaurant who’ll use it, and therefore, no ability to connect with guests. To know a restaurant brand, you should know what the restaurant is about, why the operator created it, who the audience is, its goals, and the competition.
Choose Elements that Stand Out and Send the Right Message
Communication occurs on many more fronts than simple rhetoric. When we interact with a brand, we’re engaging every element that comprises it. These elements include your font, your graphics, your menu design, and your color palette. Stay away from cliches. Make sure your font is legible and appropriate. Take the psychology of color into account. If you use symbols or illustrations with abstract meanings, ensure you’re not accidentally sending an offensive message.
Draw the Eye and Stimulate the Appetite.
When it comes to restaurant logos, as with many aspects of graphic design, simplicity is best. Including too many elements in a small space detracts from the messaging and can even turn away a potential diner. You never want a viewer’s eye darting all over the place — your design should show them where to focus.
A few key points to consider maintaining simplicity:
- Space in a design isn’t a bad thing — it can let a design “breathe” and help draw the eye to the essential elements.
- Use colors that complement one another. Try to avoid colors that are too similar to one another as screen resolutions on different devices will vary.
- Simple, sans-serif fonts are often easier to read, while serif fonts can lend more “weight” to a design. Bolder fonts work well with shorter words, while thinner or stylized scripts might be better for longer words.
Make Your Restaurant Logo Adaptable.
Remember that your logo design will show up in a variety of ways. You may use it on marketing materials of all sizes, business cards, the restaurant’s website, the menu, on glasses, napkins, tablecloths, signage — everywhere! The logo design should be a vector image that can shrink down or blow up without losing integrity. It should also show up well in black and white or in a limited color palette.
When in Doubt, Edit, and Redesign.
If the logo doesn’t seem to fit the brand, or if you’re getting hostile or indifferent feedback from potential diners, go back to the drawing board and adjust. You can’t rush art! In the long run, you’ll feel better about taking something back to scratch, even if it extends your deadline. If you push out something half-baked, you could damage your own reputation and that of the restaurant. Don’t get so attached to your design that you can’t bear to see it changed either. It’s there to serve a purpose and your opinion might not be the public consensus. (Remember, tastes are subjective!). Failure to consider details can make a logo design more than “bad” but offensive to some viewers. That’s not the outcome you want!
Designing for Indian Restaurants — Staying Away From Cliche
Now, let’s use a more actionable example to run down our checklist of restaurant logo design tips. If you look at most Indian restaurant logos, you might see some common themes: elephants, a font based on Indian lettering, red/yellow color schemes, among others.
Some commonly-repeated aspects fall under the heading of “traditional.” But if you aren’t using them with care, intent, or meaning, then they just become a cliche. Some traditional, commonly-used themes might work well for your logo design, but you shouldn’t throw them into the mix willy-nilly.
Image: Dubb Indian
Along with researching individual aspects of Indian restaurant logo design, there’s another issue — visual elements upon which designers rely far too commonly.
It’s not a good idea to use elements simply because other similar restaurants use them. This strategy often represents creative bankruptcy anyway. It will undercut the logo’s unique design, blend in with the competition, and do the restaurant’s marketing no favors. So, even if you take the time to distinguish a logo from your competition when you rely too heavily on cliches, you automatically diminish the logo’s power. Of course, there are “tried and true” items, and we’ve repeated it often throughout, the idea is to be mindful of why you’re including a particular element.
We’ve covered some of the main aspects that will help you identify a bad Indian restaurant logo design. But how do you know how to take a bad design and turn it into a great one?
Learn about the Brand and Culture.
Do your research, make sure that any elements you choose for the design won’t offend or misappropriate a culture, and ensure that the design accurately reflects the restaurant brand’s message, goal, and mission.
Use Colors that Complement the Restaurant Logo Design
Yellows and reds are common choices for Indian restaurants — and there’s a valid reason for that. The intense colors are very evocative of Indian culture and the rich taste of Indian food. They’re also excellent choices from a marketing standpoint, as red is frequently used to stimulate the appetite. You might be familiar with a certain burger chain that uses them. Remember to avoid design decisions that make your logo look too much like that of the competition though. If you want to use traditional colors, opt for unusual shades, or utilize a unique accent color elsewhere in the design.
Coloring can also indicate different things depending on the culture which requires research and caution. For example, in India, the color red is for celebration, whereas in some cultures the color signifies anger and passion.
Be Careful in Choosing your Font
Be cautious when using fonts based on the lettering in a language you don’t speak. If you speak the dialect that you’re using in the logo, then fine. If you don’t, make sure to get it checked and double-checked by a native speaker, and someone that you can trust not to steer you wrong for the sake of a joke, too.
There’s always an inherent danger in appropriating lettering and symbols from a culture to which you don’t belong to or fully understand. When in doubt, check with someone who does, just to be on the safe side, even when it comes to your graphic choice. You can also get feedback from an expert who can tell you if you’re using an Indian dialect correctly. Indian script-style fonts might lend a stylish flair, but if they’re difficult to read they’ll just frustrate everyone involved.
Choose your Restaurant Graphics Judiciously
Once more, avoid cliches! Don’t use an elephant just because elephants are common in Indian restaurant logos. That doesn’t mean that you can’t use an elephant or another frequently used graphic — it just means that you should always be mindful of your choices. Don’t settle for something just because it’s there. What does the elephant represent to you? If you can’t answer this, opt for something else.
Ask for Feedback
Insight from outside parties is incredibly valid and vital if you’re redesigning a slipshod logo. Invite the restaurant’s customers and clientele to evaluate what, exactly, doesn’t work in the existing logo design. Get input from the restaurant owner. Once you have a redesign or a few possibilities, ask for further involvement to ensure that the result is precisely what they want.
A lousy restaurant logo helps no one, not your nor restaurant ow, especially not the diners. But a good restaurant logo is a great way to advertise exactly what the place offers, entice new customers into the building, and send the ideal message to anyone who sees it: “Our food is as great as our logo. You should come in and try it.”
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About the Author
When not working on website projects, Cynthia Adam loves to write about web design, web development, and how to market them. Her writing aims to ease the process of web design and web development for other website owners.