Hogwood BBQ

nashville restaurant branding

With plans to open a brick-and-mortar BBQ restaurant in Franklin, TN, our clients approached us for our expertise in Nashville restaurant branding. The concept was somewhat of an existing one, however it was only operating as a small catering company out of Crested Butte, CO. With the recipes in hand, our clients were ready for us to bring life to the brand through the development of a brand board, logo, interior branding, environmental graphics, menu design, and a website.

Any time we get to do a Nashville restaurant branding project in our hometown, we can barely contain our excitement. So when our clients at Hogwood asked us to brand their Nashville BBQ restaurant concept, we couldn’t wait to get started. The successful Colorado catering business was branching out to the Nashville restaurant scene and needed our help developing a strong brand that could carry the concept into a new market.

Nashville Restaurant Branding Direction

We begin our Nashville restaurant branding project with the development of a brand direction for the concept, including a visual direction and a brand story. We can then utilize it as a roadmap for the creative development of all other assets.

Hogwood’s transition from a catering business to a brick-and-mortar restaurant required the creation of a new identity that could be woven through every customer touchpoint.

We created a brand board that would reflect the soul of the brand. The images included rough wood tones, industrial hardware, aged recipe cards, wall installations, black-and-white focal tile, and a hint of mustard.

The brand story, or the basis for the messaging, came next. We met Chef Michael to learn about his inspiration. With these details and the visual direction in mind, we finalized a message that would exemplify the brand voice and provide background to the brand. The brand story provided context to the restaurant and conveyed the unique value behind Hogwood.

There are countless BBQ restaurants in Tennessee, so we needed to weave in a narrative that set this Nashville restaurant branding apart from the rest. The message? Barbecue isn’t from the south. It’s from around the world. Hogwood would introduce flavors from across the globe to infuse their smoked meats and artisan sides.

bbq restaurant brand board

Logo Refresh

Usually, logo design comes after establishing the brand direction, but for this Nashville restaurant branding project, there was a logo that had been previously developed for Hogwood’s catering business.

Though the logo had a similar aesthetic to the new brand direction, it wasn’t totally aligned. We also noted that the logo was hard to read and not versatile enough to serve as the main mark for the restaurant concept.

And so, we revised the existing logo to match the rest of the brand.

nashville restaurant branding bbq

Logo Finalization

Once the refreshed logo was approved, our Director of Design ensured that it was perfect and ready for logo files. We chose exact colors in PMS, CMYK, RGB, and hex codes. We also made guidelines for the logo, such as the font names, color codes, and proper usage for the logo.

Interior Branding

During the interior branding phase of the project, we ensured that the brand reached all customer touch points—a key to success. In fact, Nashville restaurant branding is all about creating an unforgettable customer experience.

Here, we were able to see many of our brand board ideas jump off the page, including concrete flooring, black walls, custom wall installations, white brick, and white subway tile.

The brand came to life through custom-made wooden community tables and industrial seating. Focal tile led customers through the restaurant, broke up the heavier wood tones and modernized the space. Lightbulbs hung from rough hewn beams.

A wood storage area would bring out the rustic brand elements and emphasize the fire, while also holding the wood for the smoker. Above it, we printed the brand story to showcase the brand voice and evoke emotion.

The hallway to the restrooms featured images of smoking apple wood, rustic scenes, and Colorado landscapes to reflect the brand’s origins. In the bathroom, a black and white plaid wallpaper aligned with the brand and industrial fixtures completed the look.

Every detail was outlined in an interior branding plan, which we presented to the client for approval before handing it over to the architect and general contractor.


nashville restaurant branding floor plan
Nashville Restaurant Branding Environmental
bbq restaurant environmental design

Menu + Menu Board Design

At Hogwood, customers would line up at the front of the store and come through the point of sale quickly. And so, we needed to create a simple, handheld menu that would enable customers to figure out what they want to order at a glance.

This versatile menu would be used in print and online for both dine-in and take-out orders. It would eliminate the need to print two menus, and would make it easy for customers. Additionally, as customers looked at the menu in-store, they would be naturally informed about takeout options.

We also created simplistic menu boards that would mirror the handheld menu and hang from the open ceiling on industrial-style chains. Whenever menu updates occurred, this setup would enable them to be easily replaced.

bbq restaurant menu design

Nashville Restaurant Branding: Business Card

We designed a suite of beautiful business cards printed on 32pt stock with black painted edges. The design incorporated the smoky feel of the restaurant interior, and the warm hues found throughout the brand. We used the brand fonts for the information on the cards and utilized uncoated stock, which aligned well with the brand’s rustic vibe.

restaurant business card design

Nashville Restaurant Branding Materials

We designed a complete suite of restaurant materials for Hogwood, including cups, attire for merchandising and staff, take-out bags, a gift card and more.

We also created custom-designed bottle labels for spices and sauces that would sit on the tables at the restaurant. The extra detail reinforces the brand and tells people that the spices and sauces are custom-blended by Hogwood.

bbq restaurant attire design
restaurant packaging design
restaurant promo product design

Sitemap Presentation

Since Hogwood was a new restaurant with no existing website, we outlined the page(s) we would need to accommodate on the new website with a sitemap. The single page website would feature a menu that could be uploaded as a PDF, external links to location mapping via google maps, and online ordering.

Website Hosting

We then discussed website hosting. Our host provides the best platform for WordPress websites, featuring daily backups and fast page load times. Our package includes monthly maintenance and monitoring to ensure the platform and plugins are operating smoothly. Hogwood wanted to host its own website, so we would provide the site files and they would launch the site themselves.

Website Wireframes

The wireframe came next. We created a blueprint for the single-page website that mapped out exactly where text, images, calls to action, and the menu would be. We created a space for the Instagram feed to be pulled into the footer and ensured that customers could easily find what they were looking for.

restaurant wireframe design

Nashville Restaurant Branding: Website Design

The website design was simple but beautiful, with bold calls to action that prompted customers to get directions to the restaurant or view the menu to order online.

We brought the brand to life through bold imagery and key messaging. We made sure that the website was interesting, yet not too cluttered, so that customers would be motivated to take action.

bbq restaurant responsive website development

Website Development

We custom-developed the Hogwood website on WordPress. The platform makes it easy for clients to manage the content updates on their website. We also gave the team a basic training on how to update their menu and other key information once the site was live.

bbq restaurant responsive website design
restaurant mobile friendly website

Website Launch

Once the website was approved, we sent the website files to the client so that they could take go live on a domain that they already owned. Once live, our team tested thoroughly to ensure that everything was in working order before the client started promoting it. Google Analytics were set up and login info was passed along to the client for safe-keeping.

Nashville Restaurant Branding Project Closeout

Finally, we gave Hogwood their logo files, website backup, and print-ready PDF files for their business cards and menu. We did a final check of the interior to confirm that all elements were on-point.

We loved working on the Hogwood BBQ restaurant branding project and are so stoked that they’re a hop, skip, and a jump away from our Nashville office, where we specialize in Nashville restaurant branding. If you’re interested in branding or rebranding your restaurant, give us a holler.

are you ready to create something nice?