Who doesn’t like sandwiches?



Dibs is a local sandwich shop concept that grew organically out of a series of pop-up events such as pig roasts at many other notable Chicago food establishments. Working under the name Flesh For Food, their concept was to increase awareness of the local farms and businesses that provide the meat we consume, with all of their product sourced from nearby purveyors,  providing the best quality product prepared exceptionally at their events. One would think bacon slow-smoked over wood procured from barrels that housed Goose Island beer and Koval Distillery Whiskey would sell itself, but they needed a visual identity to promote their events. 

I conceptualized maintaining a hand-done feel to align with their do-it-yourself principles, and created a series of posters that drew influence from the hand-done grocery signs that dot the Chicago Landscape. All the lettering was done by hand with brush, scanned, traced, and then laid out accordingly.

When it came time to move on to bigger things and have a permanent home, I was brought in again to work on crafting a similar, but refined identity for the new brand. Its name would be Dibs, nebulously referring to both the claim of ownership (“I call dibs on that!”), and the hyper-local Chicago tradition of putting sawhorses/chairs/etc to “claim” a shoveled out parking spot.

•  Fig. 1 - Dibs in its native habitat

The first piece to tackle was on the logo, wanting to keep a done-by-hand look, but more smoothed out and less rough-and-hurried than the previous lettering we used. Influence was drawn from vintage script department store logos, whose flaws and inconsistencies felt charming and approachable, which was the feel we wanted to evoke in a neighborhood sandwich shop.

After creating dozens by hand with brush and ink, we settled on one we felt fit the brand most, and refined it in Illustrator. To maintain a classic throwback feeling, the color palette was limited to stark black and white. 

After the logo, the rest of the brand identity took form - a pattern based off of the counter of the script s in the logo flipped to look vaguely akin to two people conversing, an icon referencing a snow-covered sawhorse, and a font pairing that referenced a traditional sign painter’s sans serif lettering. I also conceptualized working off of the restaurant’s address on California Avenue, and came up with copy that utilized references to California in popular rap songs.

Finally, for their web presence, I created a simple web landing page utilizing the stark color scheme. Since the business saw themselves as being a neighborhood presence, they intended to rely more on in-person interaction and putting timely information such as specials on social media. We kept the design minimal, allowing users only paths to the menu and contact information. Website embedded below.

copyright 2018.

put that giraffe on stilts.