Decanter approached us with a bold ambition- to create a genuinely relaxed wine bar & restaurant, free from the snobbery and elitism often associated with quality wine. Set in the Bruntsfield area of Edinburgh, they envisaged Decanter as a somewhere locals could discover exceptional, unusual wines on their own terms.
Our task was to clarify the founder’s vision, craft a visual identity and tone of voice to bring the concept to life, and then execute their across a range of deliverables from the bar interior to their digital presence.
We ran a series of strategy workshops defining the client’s target audience, assessing local competition and reviewing case studies of businesses who’d achieved similar things in different categories. We uncovered three pillars that were central to the brand: inclusivity, community and discovery, then fleshed this out with a brand manifesto they were able to validate with their audience.
Next, we developed a quirky tone of voice that tackled antiquated ideas of wine snobbery head on, presenting Decanter as a tongue-in-cheek “Winery and Dinery of Upmost Finery” and incorporating vintage cues from Prohibition era design. The owner’s face was incorporated into the logomark, making the brand instantly personal.
This style was carried across a range of materials from business cards to menus, incorporating vintage illustration and simple rustic textures to give the brand depth.
Next we designed the interior, aiming to create a “worldly living room” that could showcase the exceptional wine, while also providing a comfortable place for local people to relax. Vintage cues were balanced with more contemporary touches including plush booths, brushed brass countertops, pendant lighting and patina brass textures.
Working in collaboration with Sibbald Digital and Sapore Social we next turned to the website, to ensure the brand style and tone translated effectively into a digital space.
"Visual Native did a phenomenal job building the Decanter brand. They really helped us focus our positioning, style and voice, and their subsequent work on our logo and interior was sensational."
Decanter was an instant success. The concept and execution immediately resonated with the local community who were drawn in by the quirky style but came back for quality wine and food. Within weeks of opening, the owner was looking at expanding into the basement to double the number of covers. We’re excited to see what the future holds for Decanter.
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