The Trails Bar + Bites
For The Trails Bar + Bites in Helena, Montana, we wanted to create a hotel bar logo design that would align well with the “old school” vibe of both the town and the hotel itself.
It was important for us to examine the history and allure of the surrounding area and the meaning of the bar’s name in order to develop a mark that would have meaning. Helena is known for its extensive system of bike trails, thus the name of the restaurant. We wanted to incorporate this into the icon, however we wanted to take an approach that wouldn’t simply include a bike or an overt reference to a trail.
After obtaining pertinent information from the client about expectations and about the restaurant itself, our design team gathers to create concept directions.
We decided that we would utilize the concept of the trail in several of our hotel bar logo design options, and that we would develop a couple of options that wove the trail through the type and a couple of options that would feature the trail in the logo icon or styling.
When the concepts are solid, they are presented to our Director of Design and Creative Director. For the Trails logo, our directors agreed with three of the concepts presented and provided approval for our team to move forward developing out the concepts digitally. We determined that we would not move forward with the ornate hotel bar logo design option shown in the sketches.
With approval, our design team began the process of designing the logo options. They created digital versions of each of the sketches. Additionally, they selected color palettes for each version that aligned with the overall visual direction that dictated an old school look and feel. The idea was to create something that would be indicative of the name and story, but also legible when scaled down or up, and memorable for both locals and travelers.
The ￼first option developed was a round logo that would exist as both the main logo and the stand-alone icon. This mark included a clean, but classic font for the business name as well as a smaller nod to the location of the restaurant.
Within the center of the circle, we created a design indicative of the mountains of Montana, with an upward moving trail leading to the mountaintop.
In order to further encompass the meaning behind the name, we created decorative grooves along the circumference of the circle. While at first glance these seem to be purely decorative, upon further inspection you’ll notice that the grooves are tire treads that are representative of the extensive bike trail system within the region.
The second logo option that was developed included a more modern font that was woven together to form the name of the restaurant and bar. The connection between the letters nods to the intricate system of trails present in the area, and also the connections that people will make as they dine and drink within the space. Bar + Bites is set below the name of the restaurant in a cool green to pay homage to the prevalent nature within the region and to stand out against the background and capture the attention of those passing by.
The third and final option developed takes a similar approach to including the trails within the type. However, this option also brings in a rounded feel that draws inspiration from the wheel of a bike. We used a simple color palette consisting of blue, off-white, and a bit of burnt red in this version.
Upon presentation, our client selected the first option we presented. The iconic aspect of this mark really portrayed the meaning behind the brand name, and equipped the restaurant with a logo that could stand on it’s own in application on menus, apparel, to-go cups, and more. The natural color palette of creams and browns worked well in the existing property, and could be applied to backgrounds that aligned with the overall brand look and feel.
There we no changes requested to this logo design, and we moved forward into finalization.
When our client selects a logo option, our Director of Design moves to finalize the logo. For The Trails Bar + Bites, we examined the logo carefully to ensure that every element was in place. We looked at colors and spacing, and then selected final colors for the logo. This includes the picking of PMS colors, CMYK colors, RGB colors, and hex codes.
With the logo final, we created logo files for the hotel bar logo design. Here, our graphic designer team develops logo files in PDF, EPS, JPEG, and PNG. We also create a logo guidelines sheet, which we share with our client so that they can keep the logo intact.
We love blazing a trail through branding projects, and a logo is definitely one place to start. If you’re looking to start climbing the mountain to branding success, give us a whistle and we’ll be right there.