2014 PRINT Regional Design Annual
2015 Graphis Design Annual Merit Award
Brand Identity/Multimedia Campaign

It’s an easy cliché to picture: the modern designer sitting hunched in front of a computer – click-click-clicking away in the digital space between frequent trips to the coffee maker, until that perfect idea locks into place. But for the Honey Butter Fried Chicken brand, we rolled up our sleeves and got our hands dirty.

Skyline Poster and In-Store Mural (hand-painted)
“Wood type printing has deep roots in the Midwest and establishing deep roots in the local and regional community is hugely important to Honey Butter. To visually communicate this, I designed the poster around building a stylized Chicago skyline around the stacked Honey Butter logo. The skyline itself is built from blocky letterpress inspired shapes to spell out “Chicago”. Sprinkled throughout are key references to Chicago cultural touchstones – Picasso’s Bull, the giant Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier and the bean-shaped “Cloud Gate”. These elements create a symbolic link to Honey Butter’s desire to become a cultural touchstone within the city. The whole scene is placed in a big, rolling, Midwestern sky to further emphasize Honey Butter’s commitment to draw from and contribute to the regional artisan and agricultural community.”
– Chris Jennings on the Skyline Poster and In-Store Mural (above)
In-Store Posters and Marketing Campaigns
We worked with renowned letterpress printer David Wolske on a custom set of textures printed from the backs of old wood type blocks.

Honey Butter Fried Chicken – a company and a brand that goes against the grain. A community-focused restaurant based on authenticity, integrity, generosity and respect. A no-bullsh*t brand that says what it does – Honey. Butter. Fried. Chicken. Hip but not exactly Hipster. A friendly inclusive brand not trying to be too cool for school. Rather, focused on getting the details right to make simplicity seem sublime.

 

In the spirit of that straight forward simplicity, we started by creating a stacked, bold, blocky logo inspired by the tradition of wood type and letterpress printing. To communicate the family-friendly, unpretentious atmosphere, we included an approachable chicken character named “Samy” who would eventually become the central member of a quartet of characters in a sub-brand dubbed “The Honey Buddies”.

 

As it happened, the roll-out of the brand coincided with the physical build-out of the restaurant. This put us in a great position to weave the Honey Butter brand story throughout the entire restaurant experience. There are rich and textured surfaces, recycled red barn wood – with bonus chicken scratches. An alternating pattern of orange and yellow light bulbs to bathe the dining room in a soft warm glow and a honeycomb motif judiciously sprinkled throughout. From in-store posters, merchandise and social media campaigns, to hand-painted murals, retail packaging and tagline development, we had our hands in a bit of everything – collaborating, cutting, climbing, hanging, designing, and tasting.

Honey Buddies
Patch Design

The Honey Butter Fried Chicken brand was selected for inclusion in the 2014 Print Regional Design Annual and awarded merit in the 2015 Graphis Design Annual

T-Shirt Designs
Social Media Campaign Custom Images
Top to Bottom: Reclaimed Red Barn Wood, Sheet Pan Menu Wall, Honeycomb Counter; Left to Right: Light Fixture, Bar, Custom Chicken Chalkboard
Packaging – Corn Muffin and Fried Chicken Flour Mixes (Close-Up Detail and Retail Display)
Photo Credit: Kelly Allison