Discovering the Great Performances Identity
The goal of rebranding Great Performances was to find the identity that had yet to reveal itself properly in the existing branding. The company has evolved over the years and the brand has transformed as well. We worked with Weston Baker Creative Group to develop a new logo that better reflected who we are as a company. Through the process there emerged an importance in the hand-made, thoughtful, artistic aspects of food preparation, presentation and service. It would become the foundation for establishing a clear identity and unique story to tell. The existing tagline “celebrate food” continued to be the inspiration for what would be the process of how we thought about creating the new brand.
Finding the Visual Language
"Seeing how much care, artistic craftsmanship and quality is involved in the work at Great Performances is infectious. We wanted these qualities to drive the new brand visually, to tell a cohesive story. The best way for us to build a brand that embodied the elegant, hand-made qualities and texture of Great Performances’ dishes—something that is interesting, colorful and versatile—was to attempt to create art made of food ourselves. We also wanted to allude to the company's background in the arts and decided to explore various ways we could paint and draw using food. The solution was to find a medium that allowed us to get more artistic and playful—we decided on painting with hoisin sauce. The thickness of the sauce allowed us to build layers, producing different textures and movements on the paper. We developed swatches of a demi-glace, as if on a composed plate, to create variation in the design of a painted stroke. The logo, like any dish, was to be custom, handmade and not always exactly the same." — Weston Baker
Making Art from Food
We created a series of unique logo graphics, all of which use the demi-glace strokes with various color applications to parallel the creation of unique plating designs. Taking the demi-glace and applying it to semi-transparent vellum paper allowed us to see the painted strokes with texture from the front side and flattened when backlit through the paper from the other side. By the time we had tested out roughly 50 different stroke designs with varying layers of food, the office smelled like a kitchen. This is when we knew we were on the right track. The strokes were then photographed and transformed into digital files, which was no small task. Being such a unique logo warranted defining rules for how the artistic stroke and modern wordmark would be used on different materials and at different scales. The wordmark can be displayed without the stroke in a simple, elegant and modern manner and in certain cases, the stroke can reappear to decorate any material as if it were a composed dish. Typically, creating a photorealist logo is breaking "the rules", but it was clearly the right solution for Great Performances. We created both vector and raster versions of the logo to accommodate the need to scale at large sizes and translate the depth, opacity and color variations in the stroke. The vector logo is made up of thousands of small objects that share the same color palette. The production of the logo strokes was very artistic and free-flowing while the production of the files was highly technical and strategic. The result is a logo full of texture and color—an elegant series of artworks that can be applied to any and all of Great Performances materials in a way that mimics the care and craftsmanship of the company. Never listen to someone who says "don't play with your food"!
Photos from Weston Baker Creative Group
Pre 2017 Logo History