project details


The Trails Bar + Bites

We were approached by a hotel group to create a logo for a new restaurant concept inside the Delta Hotel, which is a Marriott property. The property itself has been a landmark in Helena, MT for decades and features a grand staircase in the lobby that has been the back drop to many a wedding and prom photo for locals. As we waded into this project, it was important for us to understand the region, and what it means to the local community and travelers, as well as the history of the hotel itself. When working on branding for a concept within an existing space, we take into account what must be done to keep the design aligned with the overall vision of the property as a whole.

The Trails Bar + Bites Logo


Project Kickoff

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.As we mentioned, it was important for us to examine the history and allure of the surrounding area and the story behind 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.


Design Direction Brainstorm

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.


Restaurant Logo Sketches


Finalization of Conceptualization

When the concepts were solid, they were 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.


Logo Design Options

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 primary logo and as a stand-alone brand icon. This mark included a clean, but classic font for the business name as well as a smaller call out to the location of the restaurant.

Within the center of the circle, we developed an illustration indicative of Montana’s mountainous landscape, with an upward moving trail leading to the mountain’s peak.

In order to further encompass the meaning behind the name, we created 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, representative of the extensive bike trail system within the region.


Trail Bar + Bites Logo on Textured Background


The second logo option that was developed included a modern typeface, 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.


hotel bar logo design


The third and final option  took on a similar approach to including the trails within the type. However, this option also introduced 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.


hotel bar logo design


Presentation and Selection

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.


Logo Finalization, Files, and Guidelines

When our client had selected a logo option, our Director of Design moved on 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 included the identification of PMS colors, CMYK colors, RGB colors, and hex codes.


Project Closeout

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 created a logo guidelines sheet, which we shared with our client so that they can keep the logo intact.


Logo Guidelines for The Trails Bar + Bites

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