Restaurant Branding & development

We love Nashville Hot Chicken and anything spicy. Our avant garde Creative Director grows everything from Jalapeños to Ghost Peppers in the summer months. Our Program Manager blends his own hot sauces down in Atlanta Georgia. Even the billing department here at NailBiterCo HQ gets in the mix as they are naturally just hot headed people. We also consider ourselves Restaurant Branding warriors fuels with all 11 of KFC’s herbs and spices.

So when the talented team responsible for other great haunts such as The Cortland and South Shore Dive requested to team up with us for A TOP SECRET HOT CHICKEN PROJECT we were all in.

Our creative process when executing Restaurant Branding or any brand project for that matter always starts with the intended experience. How are we supposed to feel as customers waiting on line for delicious chicken? Who are we trying to attract?

What story will said brand be telling 5 even 10 years from today? For us, several things came to mind from our initial kick off:

  1. Long Island New York, specifically Patchogue / Blue Point of Suffolk County and the surrounding area just feels far too suburban. Lifestyle trends are changing. No longer are trendy young adults confined to living in an urban setting.

    However this group craves individualism, community and fun. They are willing to spend more on dining out and do so more often.

  2. Restaurant branding usually just plain sucks. We find most play it safe when thinking about things like logo marks and messaging in order to avoid alienating potential customers. This is a mistake as personality sets you apart. Remember, people overall crave adventure. Tell a story strong and proud.
  3. We wanted a brand that can live in multiple environments and not just on a sign. Something someone would be proud wearing on a shirt, hat or any future merchandise.
  4. This is located in our backyard, so years of embarrassment were ahead for us should the end result be not so great.

Our Creative Jedi Knights then assembled at the temple in Coruscant (really NBCO HQ) to review other Hot Chicken restaurants large and small. From our initial research we locked in with the team at Hot Chicken Mama to discuss their goals.

ALERT! DANGER, DANGER! Client misdirection.

This happens more often than not. It is an extremely hard task ideating or boiling down into a few words what your brand vision is as an entrepreneur. However, our creative forces are well worn road warriors of corporate branding. In multiple rounds we essentially knock a bunch of balls around, hoping one gets on the fairway.

Pro tip: It’s vital here to not become attached to anything initially executed as a creative.

Within a few subsequent rounds we went from a structural lockup focused within container shapes to custom typographic treatments. At first our insignia wanted to feel like a neon sign glowing as hot as the chicken it’s boasting about. But through several iterations conceptually we found a mark as unique as the product offered required.

Our next rounds focused on custom hand illustrated typographic treatments. Once we arrived at a lock up that felt close we played with its ascenders and descenders to create something that felt like a bird of prey. We used the outer edging to create feathers and claws necessary to the overall storyline.

Finally we introduced a masthead. Through trial and error, playing with various illustrations of both chickens and full roosters we chose a silhouette. This allowed for the typographic lock up to remain the star of the show while creating elements that can stand solo as its own key identifier.

Something that looks great as an instagram profile picture as well as something that stands out on the side of their building from the roadway.

The struggle, in wrestling with ideation through to conceptualization is where and how the magic happens. Knowing the end result can mean success or failure for an establishment is something we don’t take lightly here at NailBiter Co.

If you are struggling and need help with your Restaurant Branding, corporate ID or web presence, fill out a form or drop us a line at We are always ready and able to start out on another great adventure.