If you find yourself wandering around Allentown between Delaware Avenue and Main Street, you’ll probably notice a delectable smell in the air. Not the smell of Cheerios, but the smokey, sweet aroma of barbecue. Fat Bob’s Smokehouse is tucked away down the narrow street of Virginia Place. The restaurant has been a staple of the neighborhood since it opened its doors in the late ’90s. They pride themselves on making authentic Southern-style BBQ from scratch and providing their guests with wonderful service. When Patrick, the owner and operator of the restaurant, approached Block Club about enhancing the customer experience through several branding initiatives, we were more than happy to come to the table.
First, we turned our attention to a logo refresh. From the stories we were told, the original logo was literally drawn on a napkin. The older version of the logo would run into issues when reproduced on smaller applications. Thin lines were lost and the choppiness of the mark felt dated. We wanted to preserve as much of the jovial, smiling Bob in the new logo. We kept the starburst and unified the line weight of the face and chef cap. We’ve kept the brighter red used in the old mark, but are applying it more sporadically throughout the brand. We darkened the red in the starburst, matching it more closely with the coloring of a rack of smoked ribs covered in BBQ sauce.
In a more recent refresh of the logo, a roughened typeface was introduced. We felt as though this type took the hand-done feel a bit too far, so I customized a set of type based on one of my favorite gothic typefaces Franklin, which just so happens to be the name of their mascot Chef Pig who greets you at the door. The new custom distressed lettering is not as distracting, and is more legible. It’s big and bold, like their homemade flavors. I brought this effect into the brandmark to unify the lockup, giving Bob a slight stamp feel. The roughed-up look isn’t an original idea, but it’s a proven style that they’ve already employed, and it works; we just came in and simplified the distressed look.
I’m super happy with the result and can’t wait to roll out, maybe on four wheels, some more of the refresh of the Fat Bob’s brand we’ve been hard at work on.