Standing out in the marketplace
Creating a memorable experience for consumers is a multi-faceted endeavor. When the food/product, service and environment are all in sync, success is inevitable. Many segments of the foodservice and retail industries have suffered from sameness. Design, décor and branding is one way to stand out. As designers, we are always looking to take an area of opportunity within a space and make it special.
We are in a relentless pursuit of differentiators for our clients. The décor of a space should it bring delight, a nostalgic feeling, an indescribable comfort, provoke thought or a conversation can be a difference maker for future visits or purchases.
“In some cases good design is invisible.”
Working in the built environment, we have a tendency to lean more towards the visible. When clients come to us with big ideas, big walls, big storefronts, big areas of opportunity, we have to go big.
For an Applebee’s in East Harlem, the first LEED certified casual dining restaurant in the United States, we had a great chance to think outside the box. This 2-story restaurant had some great areas of opportunity for décor. The exterior featured a mosaic tile with the iconic Applebee’s apple inside a flow of greenery. We covered the 20’ atrium entrance wall with a mural, depicting Harlem’s rich Music history. A 25’ living wall, framed in reclaimed wood towers over the dining room as part of creating an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Other opportunities we’ve had to go big include a 25’x12’ wall covered in belt buckles for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Whisky River at the Charlotte Airport. It required over 5,000 buckles. Yes, we collected them from all over the country. We know people. Famous Dave’s Barbecue in Owing Mills, MD converted a sports bar near FedEx Field with huge ceilings and walls that used to project sports on a large scale. Blues music and BBQ themed art is what our client wanted. We filled the XL walls with 5’x10’ pieces of mahogany plywood that had vintage artists and pitmasters direct printed. The black and white imagery on the rich mahogany gave it a smokey, nostalgic and dynamic look.