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Defie Moi

The temporary nature of a pop-up restaurant demands a disruptive brand. When our friend, Chef Cyrus Keefer, came to us with a concept of an Asian Fusion, French-influenced concept, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate. With a “no rules, dare me” attitude, we crafted a restaurant experience that would challenge the status quo.

Location

Baltimore, Maryland

Year Completed

2017

Team Size

Vigor 2 / Client 1

Services

Concept Development, Naming, Identity Design, Menu Systems, Merchandising

Challenges

  • Establish a level of urgency and intrigue for the pop-up
  • Create a brand strong enough to stand on its own while being loud enough to gain attention when alongside other restaurant brands
  • Convey attitude and style of cuisine simultaneously

Key Insights

Chef Cyrus Keefer has a name in the Baltimore food scene, and he’s well known for his highly experimental, asian-infused flavor profiles. He dared himself to reach a pinnacle in this concept where nothing was sacred, anything was fair game.

His cuisine was to be inspired and driven by French and Asian influences.

Fusing classic cultural icons in a modern way

Inspired by the food and the ‘tude, we pushed through a rapid naming process. The idea of daring mixed with French influences to create the restaurant experience’s brand name. Defié Moi, which translates to “dare me,” is one part statement and one part rallying cry.

Defié Moi’s core brand logo is a representation of a Chinese dragon mixed with defiant typography and Chinese characters that roughly translate to “Dare Me.” These elements combine to convey the notion of French-Asian fusion with a daring, bold approach. This mark became the epicenter of the brand, but set the stage for other elements in support.

The secondary marks and graphic elements bolster the main brand logo. Inspired by French and Asian design, we created a seal and insignia to use when a full logo design wasn’t necessary to the piece. We pulled together the brand with the colors inspired by the Chinese flag, but gave them more vibrancy to be a bit more defiant.

Finally, the typography selected was a mix of traditional and modern to convey the feeling of classic craft meets modern artistry.

The result is a popup restaurant brand that defied the norm and demanded attention.

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