In my final two semesters at Northeastern, we were tasked to conceptualize and create a comprehensive design project. A very open-ended prompt, I know. So after a semester of research and brainstorming, I decided to take on a branding project that had very personal ties. Throughout the semester, I created an identity system including logos, a color palette, type treatment, and photography style and then applied this system to a series of printed collateral including menus, coasters, stickers, posters and server uniforms.
Two years ago, my best friend, Elizabeth, and I were standing in a fraternity basement, drinking a beer, discussing how badly we both were craving nachos. I’m not talking any old nachos either - good nachos. But guess what doesn’t exist in Boston? Good nachos. “Oh they have to exist somewhere!” you say - but they don’t. We like to consider ourselves nacho connoisseurs - a heavy title, I know - but we had tried almost every single plate of nachos in the city.
So two beers later, I jokingly suggested that we should just make our own nacho restaurant. Just nachos - nothing else. We both laughed it off at first, but as we sat there, we started brainstorming potential nacho combinations. Pulled pork nachos. Lobster nachos. The traditional Mexican nachos of course. Nachos on lettuce for the health freaks. French fries for the not so health freaks. Even dessert nachos for those craving something sweet, maybe on animal crackers, apple slices, cinnamon pita chips or graham crackers.
So let me introduce you to Chips, the first take at the visual aesthetic, identity system and overall branding of my nacho bar.
Let’s be real, everyone loves nachos. They’re enjoyed by all, loved my many - especially college kids. They’re the best food to split amoungst a table of friends when you’re out for drinks. They’re an incredible late night food when you’ve had a little, uh, too much to drink. And they’re customizable - because evey college kid is secretely a picky eater.
It all goes back to sense of place - Boston. Boston is known for being the ultimate college town - college kids are our target audience - and the idea was cultivated in a fraternity basement. Aesthetically, I believe that Ivy League Universities in the first half of the 20th century, are the epitome of college style. The branding systems and overall aesthetics of privileged collegiate life ultimately inspired the look and feel of Chips.