Graphic Design and Set Design

Graphic Design, especially Logo Creation and Identity/Branding are the perfect expression of metaphor. When done well and properly, of course. Set Design often requires the creation of logos for fictional business. Sometimes, set design requires the creation of identities for real businesses. We work in many disciplines and often create branding for clients like Valley Animal Hospital.

Right now, I am intrigued by an odd combination of things that have crossed my desk; restaurant logos and the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Tangentially related as set design objects.

Cruzine, an excellent design blog, recently featured this post about the importance of Identity to the success of a restaurant. As food lovers, we’re all about restaurant design. From Soup to Nuts, if you will. We’ve had the opportunity to be involved with some restaurants over the years and look forward to more of those opportunities. The idea of creating a unified package, from Identity to Menu to Interior Design to Lighting Design is exciting and fulfilling.

The HBO publicity machine has been pounding the promotion of Boardwalk Empire, as they should. The Design aspects have been important features in the press. We appreciate this even if we might disagree with what seems to be slightly over zealous research that might get in the way of the storytelling. That might be another blog post.

And it should be noted that the PR worked. Initial ratings were, in the lingo of Variety; Boffo! The series has been renewed after it’s premiere week.

So how are these topics related? Through the design (or copying of design) of the period restaurant graphics used in the sets of Boardwalk Empire. We know they’re accurate. Could they be better if they were less accurate and more metaphor or theatrical representation?

—Kevin Lee Allen

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