It’s early Monday morning. The restaurant is silent except for the constant hum of the refrigeration units. I arrive before my kitchen team to settle into the day. I need solitary moments to organize my thoughts; to plan the day. I put on a pot of coffee, pour myself a cup then sit at the big round table in the front window. The morning light is ethereal. Our servers leave the tables set and ready for the next day’s service. Stemmed wine glasses and flatware polished until they glisten, cotton napkins pressed and folded and our beautiful branding set in place.
My daughter, Kaitlin, is the Client Service Director for the boutique ad agency, Red Lion. A year ago September she approached us with the opportunity to have her firm re-brand Italian by Night. In the advertising world, firms look for projects to work on that they can enter in ad-game competitions. In order to have creative control, their fee becomes nominal. Terms of engagement included minimal back and forth. We had to love it, but we were to trust their wisdom.
The truth is we never really had a brand. We used a mish mash of clip art, random fonts and colors and used it all wherever we wanted. Despite being technically ‘brandless’, we had established some kind of presence. We were nervous to alter it.
Imagine a young, creative team of brainiacs from Toronto dealing with three middle aged Maritimers with limited branding experience. It was hilarious. Our most heated discussions centered around the color blue. I’ll keep the dirt on those talks to myself. Suffice to say, Red Lion or more appropriately, Kaitie demonstrated the patience of Job. Umpteen conference calls, four complete presentations, several redos, a site visit, mountains of emails, more conference calls, talking us off numerous ledges and suddenly, somehow Red Lion were able to see and hear past our crazy and created exactly what we wanted. A fresh, clean modern approach that looks beautiful as a sign, menu, place card, business card, coaster, awning, letterhead, t-shirt, apron…
We love, love, love our new look and will be forever grateful to the Red Lion team.
Enough gushing, time to start cooking.
Thanks for reading.