Sam McNulty, one of our long time clients, was opening a Belgian style beer bar (Bier Markt) in Cleveland’s hip Ohio City district. While the bar itself is an homage to the Belgian traditions of beer consumption, Sam requested a very clean, contemporary logo design. Additionally the bar was being opened in a historic neighborhood. This forced us to consider what type of exterior signage would be approved and how our identity system would work within those parameters. Finally, the Cleveland market is a cosmopolitan blend of young professionals that carry a blue-collar heritage, so the identity needed to communicate new and different without seeming exotic or superior.
There were three primary design motifs that I focused on while working on this branding project. Researching historic signs led me to a sign type that could be used for the building, a vertical blade sign. Drawing from this style sign, I came up with the shape of a vertical slanted rectangle with rounded corners. The second motif I used was that of a 50’s style diner. From this I took the red, black and white color scheme. The third motif was a very clean and somewhat modern style font. Since the “McMulty’s” part of the identity was secondary to the “Bier Markt” I decided to make it smaller and run it vertically in the rectangle which would mimic the layout of the signage on the exterior of the building.