R. Rooster BBQ Co.: Logo Design Case Study

Notes, sketches, comps and the final R. Rooster logo design

Defining the Problem

The town of Williston has seen an enormous influx of migrant workers as the oil shale industry has exploded. The lack of restaurants in town left workers with the option of frozen microwave-ready meals from the local convenient store or the handful of large national restaurant chains around the area as an option for a home cooked meal. R. Rooster BBQ Co. provides warm, protein-heavy meals for the hardworking oil workers reminiscent of their home towns in the south. In addition to delivering meals to the workers on the oil sites via a food truck, the restaurant would offer up a family-friendly environment for locals to enjoy Williston’s only barbecue restaurant. The logo needed appeal to both target audiences while branding the startup restaurant a major contender to the national chains.

Exploring the Solutions

100 thumbnail sketches for R. Rooster logo design

After gathering research on the target audience and evaluating the competitive landscape in and around Williston, I began by sketching 100 logos.

Tighter pencils of logo design ideas to explore in more detail

After evaluating the rough ideas, I honed in on a few concepts to develop tighter sketches and type studies.

Creating the Form

Three concepts were presented in black & white from a thorough exploration of the rough ideas.

Logo with flames and a rooster with flames for a tail and comb
Version 1 incorporates the custom typography and logo mark into a singular circle shape that works well as signage, stamping, embroidery as well as the more traditional business card, menu and website applications. The bold silhouette of R. Rooster incorporates the flames into his comb and tail and the dominant custom type, reminiscent of tattoo culture, adds a swagger and appeal to the brand that speaks directly to the primary target audience. The flames also references the delicious smoked meats prepared by the restaurant.

Rooster with bbq tools reminiscent of the skull and crossbones
Version 2 takes a more whimsical approach to the tattoo or biker culture with the logo mark replacing the classic skull and crossbones with the R. Rooster head and barbecue tools. The custom slab serif font implies bold, smokey flavors matched with the speedy delivery.

Rooster head  R in a diamond shape logo design
Version 3 provides a more family-friendly option, with the “R” of R. Rooster creating the head of the rooster. The “R” was intended to be used as a stand alone monogram in the future, or as a bold stamp or sticker incorporated into the meal packaging. The clean custom type ties directly to the shape of the rooster head monogram with the diamond shape creating a solid look for window and wall signage.

Mixing the Color Palette

Color options for the R. Rooster logo design

The client zeroed in on version 1, and we continued exploring options to make the logo more appealing to the secondary market as well, eventually leading to the weather vane approach of the final logo design form. The color studies focus on the colors of the smoked meats and the process for how they are prepared. The deep red-brown color of a smoked brisket, orange-browns of fresh cut mesquite, deep black of charred coals, the mustard yellow of the spice rubs and the bright orange and yellow heat of flames provided the basis for the three brand color palette options.

Finalizing the Solution

Final R. Rooster logo design in color

The final execution of the smoky meat colors of version 2 created a unique brand color palette without relying heavily on black that is overused in this sector of the restaurant industry.

Applying the Identity

R. Rooster BBQ Co. brand style guide excerpts

The basic style guide provides the guidelines to ensure the logo has the most impact across the brand portfolio.

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