Chef Su is a fast food chain of restaurants set to open in non-metro cities, their specialty being momos. The brand is the brainchild of Prathamesh and Suparna Chavan. Suparna's keen interest in creating new recipes inspired the brand name- Chef Su.
This project was done in collaboration with Sajid Wajid Shaikh, at Forty Six & Two.
The client brief was simple and focused: they wanted an identity system centred around a mascot, preferably a panda. However, initial market research showed that several competing Asian food chains had already adopted pandas in their branding, in the form of mascots, logos, and illustrations. Keeping in mind that Chef Su was looking to create a brand that resonated with its locals, we suggested switching to a red panda as mascot. Like the cuisine, the red panda is found in India, Tibet, and China, and would be easier to create brand recall with, since it hadn't been used much in the Indian market.
We created a simple mascot with minimal detailing which could adapt to the many different deliverables of the identity system. The speech bubble also became one of the design elements to lend a quirky, lighthearted air to the branding.
The red panda has many distinctive features, one of them being its striped tail. We wanted to include these features as design elements in an abstract form. The four stripes then became part of the identity system in various different adaptations.
We wanted the mascot to have endearing, playful characteristics which could be applied beyond the logo template. Hence, we came up with Chasing Chef Su: A series of applications where the mascot seemed to be peeking out from behind other design elements, such as the stripes.
The founders wanted Chef Su to be a relaxed, quirky space and wanted the branding to reflect those values. The offbeat, top-heavy forms of Denk One made it the perfect choice for the branding and display applications. However, since it was very illustrative and did not include any variations to choose from, a large part of the social media communications and text-heavy applications would require a more legible (and less distracting) typeface.
Tone of Voice:
Since millennials were a large part of the target audience for Chef Su, social media was one of the most important contexts the branding had to adapt to. We had the advantage of having a mascot, which made it easier to articulate a sassy, amusing tone of voice. We also created a template for their social media posts and ads, which could be replicated easily to make the brand more sustainable in the long run.