Taco Del Mar started in the early 90s in Seattle as a hip taco & burrito spot serving Baja- and Mission-style favorites in a slightly grungy and colorful atmosphere. Their vibe was decidedly anti-corporate, featuring vibrant, sometimes over-the-top murals. Over time, they started to become more corporate as they grew and, finally, when Subway bought them out, the last vestiges of the original brand disappeared. The Subway version of the brand became mundane and toothless, while there were still legacy stores out there with varying degrees of the old brand.
REGO Restaurant Group, which acquires languishing restaurant brands to revive them needed help to restore TDM back to its former glory. In the following months, I did a deep dive into the brand, visiting locations across the Pacific Northwest, conducting interviews and workshops, rethinking the menu architecture…the full meal deal. What came out of all of this was a full brand audit with recommendations on how to communicate the brand along with different ideas on visuals based on what we learned about the company and its patrons. The following are three potential directions for visual applications based on these insights, returning to vibrant murals and colors along with references to boardsports and beach culture.