Thesis Introduction

Ever since I was younger, I enjoyed the experience of eating out. My family didn’t go out often, but when we did, it was a treat. At that time, I was interested in the social atmosphere restaurants provided and the way such an outing brought my family together. Though I’m still interested in those aspects, I’m more excited about the design aspects of restaurants. My thesis is about branding a restaurant. I’ll be creating a fictitious restaurant and along with it: a logo, menus, signs, coasters, wallpaper, wall art, and more.

In my experience, a lot of restaurants have become so similar when it comes to small design details. How many of us have gone to a restaurant and received a white Styrofoam box as a take home container for your leftovers? That’s because somewhere along the line, someone designed that and it’s been used ever since. I’m going to challenge those designs that we’ve become comfortable with – from menu designs to the take-home container.

György Kepes, a Hungarian designer and painter once wrote about functionality in design: “And so let us understand that the issue is not functional design as such, that it is not just the ‘know how’ but the ‘know why’ and the ‘know what’ … this means that before we proceed to design any object for a given purpose, we should question the purpose itself. The main of the object should not simply be taken for granted. It should be evaluated in its broadest scope.”

That’s the goal of my thesis. I aim to redesign the form of restaurant packaging and branding with a lot of consideration for its function. There are many designs for that take-home container that would be more intuitive white carrying the food just as effectively. I’ve actually forgotten my leftovers at the table even though it had been sitting right in front of me – that’s how disposable it looks.

While developing this brand, I will also be considering the general aesthetics of the restaurant: what elements of a brand lend to a public notion that a restaurant is friendly? Uninviting? Expensive? Cheap? Clean? Dirty? Loud? Quiet? Unique? Or just like all the rest? I want to push the boundaries of my designs to create a full branding system where I’m both the client and the designers and budget is not a factor.