The Branding and Packaging For Benny's Big Time Pizzeria Offers a Fresh Take On The Italian Restaurant

by Natalie Mouradian on 02/15/2018 | 5 Minute Read


The Door created this fun and modern branding and packaging for Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria, an up-and-coming restaurant located in North Carolina. The overall design is graphically driven and uses a unique color scheme that sets it apart from other pizzeria designs.


“Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria is a Neapolitan pizzeria from James Beard Award-winning Chef Vivian Howard and husband/business partner Benjamin Knight, stars of the PBS documentary series A Chef’s Life. The documentary explores farm-fresh cooking, family, and community in small-town Eastern North Carolina.  Their new pizzeria’s name comes from a combination of the couple’s childhood nicknames: ‘Benny’ for Knight and ‘Big Time’ for Howard, whose father gave her that moniker as a child when she showcased an early talent for entertaining.” 


“Ben and Vivian worked with longtime partners The Door to develop the visual identity for the restaurant, and to design and produce its collateral. The Door first worked with Ben and Vivian to focus the key attributes of the Benny’s experience around the quality of its housemade menu items, the comfort and approachability of its experience, and a playful personality. It was also determined that the Benny’s identity should cue the Italian focus of the cuisine while avoiding the stereotypical signifiers of an Italian-American restaurant (think: red and green color palette, grape vine motifs, and straw-wrapped Chianti bottles).”


“Art Director Sara Berks and Creative Director Melinda Welch then set out to visualize the identity, starting with a color palette rooted in rich red and deep blue hues, paired with bright and warm accent colors. The team then commissioned a wide range of illustrations from Nanna Prieler, who lent her beautiful and eccentric rendering approach to a range of ingredient, pizza, and plated-dish illustrations for the restaurant. These illustrations come together as collaged elements throughout the branding and collateral, and serve to cue the Italian nature of the menu while conveying a contemporary and playful spirit. One of Nanna’s pizza slice illustrations also serves as the logomark, merrily floating above the wordmark set in Windsor."


With the identity determined, The Door then applied that visual system to the collateral and food service packaging items for the restaurant. The placemat dinner menu incorporates Nanna’s illustrations as page headers and footers, while the bar menu features an illustration collage on its cover. Also of note is the four-color pizza box featuring 20 unique illustrations, which serves as the centerpiece of the restaurant’s takeout program, accompanied by two customized paper shopping bags and branded tape to seal the takeout containers.”


“The Door also designed business cards and postcards, t-shirts, coasters, an enamel pin featuring their signature pizza pie, and larger-than-life murals that adorn the historic building’s exterior.”


Agency: The Door
Clients: Vivian Howard and Benjamin Knight
Creative Director: Melinda Welch
Art Director: Sara Berks
Illustrator: Nanna Prieler

Photographer: Bax Miller
Dinner menu, bar menu, and business card printing: Boingo Graphics
Pizza box: Joshen Paper & Packaging
Shopping bags: The Packaging Source
Masking tape: Carolina Tape / Brown & Pratt
Enamel pins: Pinnacle Pins
Mural painter: Sarah Rushing
Postcard printing: GotPrint.com
Coasters: CoasterFactory.com
Location: New York, NY

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