Branding Project: The Coffee Company

The Coffee Company, established in 1978, is a family-run New American Diner, located by LAX, serving locals, tourists and loyal patrons. This was a fun project. It’s menu primarily consists of breakfast and lunch staples along with tasty Cajun and Middle Eastern influenced dishes.

sheila-buchanan-designs-the-coffee-company-lax.jpg
Sheila-Buchanan-the-coffee-company-bcards.jpg
TCC-Canvas-Tote-Bag-2.jpg
Sheila-Buchanan-the-coffee-co-tshirts.jpg

I was hired to give the diner a new visual identity which would carry over to signage, menus and new website. The objective was to create a look that felt “established” (and a little retro) while reflecting the friendly and welcoming place that it is.

The illustration of the restaurant appearing on the menu covers and t-shirts give it a warm friendly neighborhood feel.

Sheila-Buchanan-the-coffee-company-illustration-2.jpg


It’s a perfect stop if you're traveling to or out of LAX. I highly recommend the ‘shrimp & grits' as well as the "‘corned beef hash topped with two eggs’!


The Coffee Company | 8751 La Tijera Blvd, Westchester, CA | thecoffeecompanyla.com


Branding Project: Tallula's Restaurant

I had the pleasure of working with the Rustic Canyon Family Restaurant Group on their latest project, Tallula's, located just a block from the beach in Santa Monica. Working with Josh Loeb, Zoe Nathan and Chef Jeremy Fox, I created the visual identity, signage, stationery, menu designs and the website for this charming and fun neighborhood Mexican restaurant.

The restaurant, named after Josh and Zoe's daughter Tallula, has a vibrant and festive atmosphere with an outstanding and creative menu by Chef Jeremy Fox and Chef Mario Alberto.

It was exciting to see the way everything came together, from our initial meetings, to the interior designer's sketches, to construction, printing of materials, and finally seeing them open for business and eating the delicious food.

I'll briefly share with you the branding process below...

The project started with a vision board which sets the mood and tone from the design objectives and positioning established in our initial meeting. Once the mood board and design brief are approved and everyone is on the same page, I start sketching concepts. The sketches above are for the chosen direction: "warm and welcoming".

I ended up manipulating the letterforms a bit in the computer until the logotype felt balanced and legible.

I then created a festive and colorful illustrative pattern inspired by Otomi textiles. The hand-drawing has a folk art feeling to reflect the hand-crafted food and cocktails.

We had the logo and directional signage painted by hand throughout the restaurant.

We created custom lettering for the neon sign at the bar which makes for a popular Instagram shot.

The Tallula's branding carries over to the website design and is programmed from scratch in Wordpress. There were 3 main goals we achieved. First, the site needed to be user-friendly and mobile-friendly with all the information being easily accessible by the user and easy to make a reservation. Second, we needed to showcase the delicious food and stylish interior using large and beautiful photography. Third, it needed to be programmed in a way that was super easy for the client to update all on their own; this included the main text on all pages, food and drink menus, hours & special events, photos, and adding press articles.

If you find yourself in Santa Monica, you must check out Tallula's. Or heck, make a special trip! I promise you won't be disappointed. This is truly a special place, with delectable food and cocktails to boot!


Tallula’s | 118 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica, CA | tallulasrestaurant.com

Photography: Rick Poon
Interior Design: Oonagh Ryan Architects


If you need help with a branding project, please feel free to contact me. 

László Moholy-Nagy at LACMA

It was inspiring to see the László Moholy-Nagy exhibit this past weekend at LACMA. He was always one of my favorite artists in college and it's interesting to see how relevant his work remains to contemporary design and painting today. I especially enjoyed some of the small abstract paintings, collages and photomontages. He was a true master at balancing abstract forms and creating compositions with them. So pleasing to look at.

  László Moholy-Nagy ,  "Red Cross and White Balls" , 1921

László Moholy-Nagy, "Red Cross and White Balls", 1921

  László Moholy-Nagy ,  "19,"  1921, oil on canvas
  László Moholy-Nagy ,  “F in Field”  1920 gouche and collage on paper
  László Moholy-Nagy ,  Unknown title,  1920–21, gouache, collage, and graphite on paper
 Levitated Mass - a large-scale 340-ton sculpture of a boulder by Michael Heizer outside the LACMA.

Levitated Mass - a large-scale 340-ton sculpture of a boulder by Michael Heizer outside the LACMA.

Otomi Folk Art

I first discovered and fell in love with Otomi Tenango embroidery on a trip to Mexico City with my grandmother years ago.

il_fullxfull.472836519_3zy0.jpg

These colorful patterns were first created by an indigenous group called the Otomi living in a town called Tenango de Doria, just north of Mexico City. In the 1960s, they suffered a severe drought which destroyed their farming, so they were forced to pivot and focus on another industry: textiles. Their designs were inspired by nearby cave paintings, and were made using brightly colored embroidery.

These vibrant colors and patterns make me so happy and bring joy into a space. I've been seeing the Otomi textiles (traditional and inspired) more lately. They were a source of inspiration for a recent branding project which I will reveal soon!

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

The Plant Provocateur Candle Packaging

Before the holidays, we designed packaging labels for The Plant Provocateur's latest products: Biophilia No. 5 Candle and Biophilia Winter Solstice.

Biophilia is "the suggestion that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems" or "a love of life and the living world".

Both candles smell amazing, have a nice thick slow burning wick, and are made of EcoSoy wax hand-poured in Silverlake.

If you're in Los Angeles, you can find these candles at The Plant Provocateur shop:
3318 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026 - @tpprovocateur
 

See more projects we did for them here.