Valeo’s Pizza actually came to us months and months before there was ever any serious talk about working together on pizza restaurant branding for their business. The owners of the iconic Wisconsin pizza place had acquired the restaurant from the founders, and were committed to maintaining the quality and service that customers had come to expect for generations.
However, after attending a conference with pizza restaurants from across the nation, Christal and Eric were inspired by the innovative pizza restaurant branding that had taken over their industry. As they prepared to launch their second location (which was also their first dine-in location), they wanted to update the brand to better reflect the personality that the restaurant had taken on since they’d taken over.
They weren’t an easy sell, and it wasn’t until they read one of our blog posts that Christal reached out. The post served up some tough love about clients controlling the design process and unwittingly sabotaging their project in the process. Apparently, it resonated and we onboarded Valeo’s Pizza as our Q3 2017 restaurant branding project.
With most rebranding projects, we typically start with a logo redesign or a logo refresh. This wasn’t what Valeo’s had in mind. They were dead set on keeping their existing logo, as they’d just refreshed it 5 years prior.
However, there were problems with the logo from a design perspective. It wasn’t scalable and when sized down to the size of a quarter, it wasn’t really readable. Big no-no. Because don’t you want your logo to be able to be on cute little labels, and stamped on to go bags, and placed in the corner of a document? Of course you do!
So, we realized that we were going to have to work for this one. We wanted to make sure that Valeo’s started off on strong footing, and while we would have loved to go with the flow, we just weren’t going to stand by and let this logo bring the brand down a notch or two. Plus, it became apparent that some of the design elements that we had planned weren’t going to work with the existing brand mark.
We started by talking with the client about what they loved about the logo. They told us the story of the original founders hanging a neon sign in the window and the nostalgia that brought. It really said “pizza” to them and we could see that. The logo had a line running through it to indicate the bulb of the neon sign.
Well, that’s something we could definitely work with. We knew that we could preserve the elements they loved, all while creating something that wasn’t such a rule breaker. The new logo would serve them better as they begun the journey to build their pizza empire. And in the end, we won the great logo debate and got to give the Valeo’s logo a facelift.
We used an inline font that would nod to the neon sign but would serve as a more polished and well-crafted mark for the client. We then hand edited the font to create somewhat of a custom font for the logo. The client was pretty particular about the edges of each letter and of the line within each letter, and we wanted to get it just right for her. Painstaking, but perfection in the end.
From the logo came a couple of refreshed icons as well. The icons would be used strategically throughout the brand.
In addition to the logo, we developed sayings and icons for their core values that would be used throughout their branding materials including their window clings, menu, printed materials, etc. These sayings were meant to make their core values more relatable and memorable, and they were set in typographic lockups that would be used throughout the brand.
See, Valeo’s is more than your run-of-the-mill pizza place. When Christal and Eric took over, they saw that there was the opportunity to really make an impact in the community by using their restaurant as a training ground for leadership. They are fiercely committed to this cause, and they love their employees like their own. Through the restaurant, they provide employment opportunities that come with built-in options for leadership, if the staffer wants it and works for it. They train their people beyond tossing and saucing pies, and send them out into the world better equipped to handle what life will throw at them. If you want to hear it straight from the source, check out this video on the Valeo’s website.