Nari’s Catering brand design is easily one of my favorite projects of all time.
First off, owner Shonari AKA Nari, is a long time friend, and this project is very close to my heart for that reason. Shonari was introduced to me by one of my best friends, Jacob Chavana, and the two grew up together. I have a great deal of respect for my friend Jacob, therefore that respect’s passed on to Shonari. Shonari is an educator with a diverse background and a heart for sharing memories via good food.
He’s got New Orleans (which is my home away from home) roots. Those are tied together with Caribbean heritage, and he wanted to bring the two together by way of a side-hustle. That hustle is his catering business, and his food is no joke.
Like so many of my other branding projects (Thelen Group, Mason Painting and a few others that didn’t make the cut for my portfolio), this catering brand design came to me because a previous designer simply didn’t cut the mustard. Shonari came to me asking for a logo because the one he paid for already wasn’t really up to the job, despite him already paying for it once. Now, if you’ve read my blogs, you know my stance on working with friends and family, homeboy prices, and working for free when it’s strategic, That said, Shonari had a budget that was far beneath my minimums, but I couldn’t let a friend go without because of money.
I told Shonari to name his price. Reluctant, knowing he’d be getting far more value than he had dollars, he gave me an offer that wasn’t nearly enough. I told him to keep that money and invest it in himself; I’d do the whole project 100% free of charge. The only caveat was that he had to trust me to do my thing, and he had to be ok with me doing it 100% in my spare time. It was a gift to a deserving friend.
Shonari wanted just a logo. I don’t do just a logo. Period. Instead I offered him a versatile logo system, a full brand identity, a brand voice, a website, and everything else he could possibly need to get started off right. As the old design adage goes, “You can have it fast, good, or cheap – pick two,” I gave him good and cheap, but it was far from fast.
After hours of immersive research, I applied Caribbean and New Orleans influences to create him a brand that would reflect his vision and stand the test of time.
The project included the following:
Each and every element of Nari’s catering brand design was hand-crafted. The logo features a big “N” for Nari as well as some hidden meaning within – his initials. The logo was influenced by French architecture present in both New Orleans and the Caribbean Isles. The hand-drawn icons are of food and cultural items from each of the two cuisines.
Everything Anthony did was amazing! He took his work to the next level, and he wasn't afraid to try something new. He asks a lot of questions to get a deep understanding of your vision, and then he makes it your reality. If you want to get off the porch and really compete, Anthony's the man.
The best part of this catering brand design project was that Shonari came to my home early one Saturday morning, so we could catch the morning sun poking through my kitchen windows, and he cooked for my family. I photographed the dishes, so he could have authentic photos on his website and social media branding.
Shonari has been successful in business, but that’s not wholly because of the catering brand design project we executed together. It’s mainly because of his passion, and that’s why I love this project so much. One of my favorite designers to follow, Aaron Draplin, tells stories of helping his friends. “I’ve done a logo for $35K and I’ve done one for a burrito. You know which one was my favorite? The one that paid in burritos, simply because it was to help a friend.” I, on the contrary, was paid in Loaded Grand Bayou Pasta. Perfect.
The only downfall of this project was it took almost 5 months to complete.
January 26, 2016