Spanning the flavors of the Mediterranean

Safina Mediterranean restaurant branding

For the InterContinental Hotel in Houston Medical Center, IHG had a concept in place, but no name or identity direction. The framework for the operations and the culinary offering was complete, and the concept was poised to be brought to life. Vigor collaborated with the IHG team and ownership to craft a modern, pan-Mediterranean brand experience for this hotel food and beverage outlet.


Houston, Texas

Year Completed


Team Size

Vigor 4 / Client 6


Concept Development, Narrative, Naming, Identity Design, Menu Systems, Wayfinding/Signage, Art Direction, Web Development
Safina Mediterranean full service restaurant branding logo design

The "little" boat gets a big role

The restaurant concept needed a name that would evoke a Mediterranean vibe without committing to one country or culture. Inspired by the sea, and its rich history, the Vigor team identified a unique word that seemed to capture the personality: Safina.

Safina is the English version of the Arabic word for “little boat.” These boats are the backbone of the advancement of the Mediterranean’s many cultures. Additionally, the word itself is quite beautiful with a soft sound that evokes slight sea breezes.

With that name in place, we designed a modern aesthetic that paid homage to small fishing and sailing vessels in ancient times.

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Shoring up the suite of brand touchpoints

Safina Mediterranean’s multiple brand touch points took inspiration from the Mediterranean in color and craft. Faux leather featured the brand’s colors in all their vibrancy creating a calming and uplifting experience. The full suite of menus equipped the brand with many options for their different day parts and dining experience needs.

Additional character-driven pieces were designed to add special notes to the experience. Coasters through matchboxes served as final touches to a complete brand identity.

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