About

For my summer visual design class, we had to pick an existing restaurant and come up with a complete rebrand. This included coming up with a new logo, typeface, other visual elements, advertisements, and an environmental display piece.

I chose the Vietnamese restaurant Thanh Long, as in my opinion, while the food is amazing, the branding and visual design of the restaurant needs a redesign.

Role

  • Branding
  • Visual Design
  • Logo Design
  • Website Design
  • Advertising
  • Interface Design

Thanh Long is a Vietnamese restaurant with one very tasty speciality: Roasted crab & garlic noodles. They are the main draws at this destination restaurant at the Sunset district in San Francisco.

They do traditional Vietnamese food but also have influences from other cuisines such as Chinese, French, and Italian.

Target Market / Audience

Before settling on a direction for the rebranding, I did some research on the customers base of Thanh Long and any other potential customers. Who are the people who come and eat here, and what are their reasons for doing so?

This will help me decide on a direction.

The Loyal Customers

These are the loyal customers, who have been going there for a long time; people who grew up going to the restaurant and having built up that loyalty over the years. For many of them, Thanh Long was their first Vietnamese food experience. The restaurant caught on in the community when it opened, and now its become a favorite. While in the present day the neighborhood has become a place with trendy coffee shops and the like, these loyal customers still come back here to eat the famous Thanh Long garlic crab.

The Foodies / Tourists

Thanh Long also definitely attracts people from the ‘foodie/tourist’ bracket. It's unique history (being the first Vietnamese restaurant in SF) and legendary cult status draws new customers in daily. It also has the distinction of being Helene An's first restaurant. Also, it has a reputation amongst people from outside the US as a ‘go-to’ place to eat at whenever they visit San Francisco.

What distinguishes Thanh Long’s target audience is that these people aren’t necessarily going to Thanh Long because they are craving crab in the moment; rather it is the place itself, whether it be due to tradition or its history or its cult reputation. There are other places that serve roast crab in the city, but none have the iconic status and tradition that Thanh Long has, and that is what separates it from the rest.

Brainstorming

Next, I came up with some keywords to guide the direction of my redesign. What's important to make sure of in my redesign will be to strike a fine balance between modernizing the restaurant, but also keeping a sense of tradition as well. I decided to go for a clean, modern, but retro aesthetic.

Exterior Sign

Business Card

Takeout Box and Bib

Server T-shirt

Instagram

Instagram ads are a common sight nowadays, which is why having an effective ad here will be very beneficial. The main focus here is to show potential customers great food, the newly designed exterior look, and the great times they can have with their family and friends when they eat here.

I designed a new website as part of the rebrand. While the current website has some useful features, such as an online ordering and reservation system, they both take the user into another website. The redesigned website will integrate both those features to make it a more cohesive experience for the customer, as well as improving the aesthetics and visual design of the website.

Menu

I also created a digital menu for in-store use. Instead of using traditional paper menus, customers will be able to browse the menu using a tablet, which would improve the ordering experience as the digital menu has images and more info. I made sure that the digital menu still resembled a traditional paper menu to keep in line with the modern but traditional theme.

Finally, I created a digital display piece meant to be displayed in the restaurant wall. The environmental display features a scrolling scrapbook picturebook visual, highlighting the history of the restaurant and the An family’s journey from Vietnam to San Francisco.

Additionally, customers can add their Thanh Long pictures by submitting them to the restaurant through social media and they will be featured in the display.