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a brand built to weather a pandemic

arbor

the details.

the details.

Our longtime San Francisco clients, The Absinthe Group, set out to create a new restaurant concept in the heart of the city. The idea was to bring home style cooking to a neighborhood filled with families, tech workers, and patrons of the arts; building a brand that resonated with people both looking for dinner before the opera or ballet and local resident passerbys. Then the pandemic hit.

We sat down with the team in February and really dove into the concept. Industry, audience, and local area research was done, complete with a competition set review and neighborhood tours by the design team to get a feel for the microcosm neighborhood. While The Absinthe Group is well known in San Francisco for their cornerstone restaurant Absinthe, the last standing bar of the Barbary Coast Comstock Salon, and their amazing paella at Bellota – the space had previously been occupied by Arlequin Cafe and was much beloved by it’s diners. We needed to make sure that the new concept complimented the family of brands found next door, still provided a home for the diverse clientele, and gave a face to the new concept found inside the newly renovated interiors with its quaint outdoor garden.

Our teams of strategy, design, and development brainstormed and got busy. With three solid concepts, our in-person presentation would become our last. In April, San Francisco declared a state of emergency. During this time the concept was selected and refined, the brand guidelines approved, and the website was built. While finalizing the beta review in March, San Francisco went into lockdown. For those unfamiliar, the city imposed curfews, imposed a shelter-in-place, and halted public transit for all but essential workers. All restaurants were also closed. Even if they weren’t already open.

We quickly adjusted our strategy to rely on take-out dining. As a team, we needed to be agile and flexible to the needs of the restaurant team as their industry was being decimated. We provided a sounding board for ideas on how to successfully complete this about turn and prioritized requests because we knew that the margins were even tighter and every second counted. And we did it; Arbor opened during the lockdown for take-out. With guidelines, templates, and brand assets available online, they were able to roll out their collateral, packaging, and marketing efforts as they needed them. They’ve immediately won praise for their comfort food. It was exactly what everyone needed.

services

Brand Visual Identity and Expression
Brand Foundation Building
Brand Guidelines
IA/UI/UX Website Design
Custom Responsive Website Development
Content Management System
Content Strategy
SEO

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arborsf.com

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discovery.

sifting through input from the chef, interior design, corporate, and marketing—we crafted the Arbor mantra, personality, and visual attitude.

Arbor brand discovery mood board
Arbor brand logo

logo.

don’t let its simplicity fool you. the Arbor logo captures both the picnic table vibe of its unique garden setting and the slick character of its mid-century inspired interior.

brand.

we built digital brand guidelines to make all Arbor brand assets and resources available to anyone, in the kitchen or at home, faster than you can crack an egg.

Arbor digital brand guidelines
Arbor window signage

brags.

“they took great care in the creation of our brands, listened to all members of our team, and created a brand personality and design that was spot-on.”

— chloe pressman, the absinthe group marketing director

website.

our design + development of the site gavearbor’s team the flexibility to easily tailor the homepage with dine-in, takeout, and delivery options during a time they often had to switch between all three at a moments notice.

Arbor website design and development

e-commerce.

we integrated square and doordash—integral to their business during the pandemic.

Online takeout and delivery
Arbor menu design

collateral.

from menus and signage to print and social templates, we gave Arbor a winning recipe for maintaining their own brand at their own pace.

brags.

“working with 300FeetOut was a dream! they were able to work diligently and patiently on our projects and we are SO happy with the results. it allowed us to have a functioning business even amidst a pandemic.”

— chloe pressman, the absinthe group marketing director