If you have never visited the Austin, Texas area, you may need an introduction to Maudie’s. This restaurant is one of the most popular in the metropolitan area, offering Tex-Mex cuising—that cheesy, delicious blend of traditional Mexican food and American ingredients that is so popular in the United States.
Maudie’s is somewhat of a local restaurant success story. It began as a tiny strip mall café and then spread into a restaurant chain. With six locations and growing, Maudie’s was ready for a little stylistic update, and professional logo design and branding services as well.
The old Maudie’s restaurant logo had a local restaurant feel and reeked of unprofessional design. It is similar to the logos you probably see in local Mexican restaurants near you. The font used for the name was faux-ethnic and had messy borders, while the word ‘Tex Mex’ was written in blocky red letters below.
The problem with this restaurant logo design is that it says very little about the restaurant. Maudie’s is a classic, Austin eatery with kitschy charm and a menu of Texan favorites laden with meat and cheese. This distinctive Texan identity was made the basis for the new logo design and brand.
The new logo design was inspired by vintage street posters as well as cantina menus. It features the name of the restaurant in retro angled letters. They are blocky and formed so that the color fill does not quite line up with the outline—a common problem in vintage printing. A stamp bears the image of a bull and says, “Hecho en Austin,” letting potential customers know that this is a local place and not a global chain. The colors are relevant to Tex-Mex food—bright and similar to those seen on the Mexican flag, but in modern hues.
The original Maudie’s has a cult following in Austin, so there was a very real risk in changing the general mood of the restaurants. The old restaurant identity was enhanced by a lack of design, done on purpose. The new logo design had to keep the charm that keeps so many locals coming back. The vintage poster motif was a great middle ground that adds a sense of style without taking away any personality.
The new identity will be an important part of the company’s expansion. In addition to gracing signage for the many locations, the Maudie’s logo is a prominent part of all restaurant menus as well as gift cards, table tents, posters, packaging, the company website and even t-shirts. It adds a fun and youthful feeling while retaining the Tex-Mex atmosphere. The logo designer even helped develop silk screened artwork for the restaurants that will complement the brand.
If you are running a local restaurant, branding and logo design are important to your success. You are competing against not just the many chain restaurants, but many local establishments as well. Logo design is a great way of building a brand that will resonate with your customer base and your community.