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.

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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.

Happy Birthday Ray Eames

Today Ray Eames would have been 104 years old. She was and still is one of my biggest design heroes since attending art school and first seeing The Powers of Ten film.

She and her husband, Charles, were artists and designers in the 1940s. Through their 40 year collaboration, they explored design in furniture, architecture, crafts, textiles, illustration, photography and film. Several years later, their products are still popular and can be found at Herman Miller or Design Within Reach.

"What works good is better than what looks good, because what works good lasts." – Ray Eames

They designed their house and studio Case Study House #8 in Pacific Palisades – "a laboratory of creative thinking". If you haven't been, I highly recommend a visit.

For more information about Eames, check out the official Eames website: eamesoffice.com.

Project Launch: Huckleberry Café & Catering

We are so pleased to announce the launch of the new Huckleberry website - version 2.0!

I had the honor of creating the first one back when the restaurant first opened, so I was thrilled to help them with the update.

We kept the look and feel of the Huckleberry branding (including the yellow polka dots!) and gave it a fresher and updated look with the new website. We were fortunate to be able to use the beautiful photography shot by Matt Armendariz for the Huckleberry cookbook. Beautiful photography makes a huge world of difference in how you present your product or service. We made the photos large to feature their artisan baked goods.

The site was programmed in Wordpress so that the team could make menu changes easily and immediately if needed. The site responds nicely on mobile devices so that people "on the go" could order take out, get directions and contact the shop.

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If you live in Los Angeles, this place is a "must" for delicious and seasonal home cooked meals made with the finest and freshest ingredients.

Huckleberry is located at 1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90401.
huckleberrycafe.com