One of the key element in branding is logo: it usually establishes the basis of all the further creative identity solutions.
Some of the key words and things we discussed for the logo included: Round, Classy, Possibly Spices in the logo, Nyc or New York as a subtext.
As a consequence, we came forward with the first draft of the logo as below.
The first draft of the logo.
Responsive Logo Design
After several Iterations, the logo was refined into a gold gradient themed, artsy and classy logo with the Letter Z, I and A all drawn with spices into the font.
Responsive design takes the center stage in this process. The First version of the Logo featuring all the elements, is best fit for large mediums like prints, web graphics etc.
The Middle version, could be seen more fitting in places like Business cards, Letter heads and Web logo on the site.
The last version, over to the right, is a fitting icon for favicons, business cards or other branding related content.
UX Research and Design
For me personally, Restaurants are like the benchmark of User Experience. The Term UX is used for a lot of software and web design work but in the physical world, the term is best experienced at a restaurant.
Zaika New York, is one such restaurant aiming to deliver Indian food with the original rare spices the world hasn't seen yet. It is a fine dining restaurant with a great lunch buffet and is no small place like people are used to in New York City. The Restaurant boasts a whopping 150 seats with a Full bar and lounge along with private dining options.
For me, the challenge was to deliver a consistent branding, with web design, graphic design and marketing collaterals for the launch within a month and a half.
I was fortunate enough to work with the Chef in charge directly, and with my time there and in my time researching competitors websites, I quickly realized website's weren't the focus in the restaurant world in New York. It was primarily Yelp, Google and Facebook reviews. So how does a website fits in that environment? The Answer was simple, Information.
Reviews site like Yelp or Google don't necessarily provide unique information like the website does. Apart from the people who are just looking to enjoy a meal for a quick bite, there are a lot of food enthusiasts who primarily look for an experience and an experience in food is usually because of a combined mix of location, ambience, food and presentation.
So we designed the website to encapsulate the elemental theme of the food. Which is Fire, Water, air and Earth. A lot of content strategy on the website revolves around the theme, so does the interior of the restaurant and so does the food.
After the initial UX, The web design process was fairy simple. The rough low fidelity wireframe is what almost ended up in the final product.
The Design was kept simple, well spaced out and minimal.
Our plan was to go for a One Page website for better SEO, with a lot of photo content, but as we progressed into the web design process it got harder to maintain faster load times with just one page. Also, with the implemented content strategy, it wasn't easy to bring every relevant information in just one page.