Opened at the end of 2016, Majja is a new chain of quick-service restaurants in India, focusing on serving vada pav — deep-fried potato placed in a bun with dry red chutney powder and fried green chilies — one of the traditional street foods of Mumbai. Known as the “Desi Burger”, the dish has been Americanized to a degree, being served with cheese and ketchup, but Majja is making sure to serve it traditionally across its first eight locations in Ahmedabad, with plans to grow to other cities. The identity for the restaurant has been designed by Gurgaon, India-based NH1 Design.
The word ‘Majja’ (fun) is commonly used across India. We created a fun verbal brand language that could be easily understood across different languages and cultures. A friendly tone of voice that completely aligned with the brand ethos.
The use of illustrated stories of people and the streets of Mumbai further emphasised the authenticity of the vada pavs. Together the visual and verbal language established a consistent set of assets for the brand.
It is so nice to see a completely different typographic aesthetic for a logo other than traditional serif and sans serifs with the choice of Taca by Rúben R Dias. The almost primitive structure and aesthetic of this wordmark is fun, bold, engaging, and differentiating. The stacked “j”s is both a great move to avoid the kerning issue that would have resulted from leaving them on the same baseline and it adds rhythm and bounce to the wordmark.
The logo is paired with speech bubbles that complement majja, which means “fun”, and while some (if not most) are lost on both literal and cultural translation to me, the point is clear that the name has a lot of flexibility and playfulness. I kind of like the handwritten, scripty font used, although it would have been nice if it had contextual alternates. The secondary variations with the wobbly uppercase and logo inside a speech bubble are not as elegant as the others but do work well paired with the illustrations.
These could probably use some additional consistency but they are charming and fun.
The food packaging is great. I’m particularly fond of the logo on the napkins… not sure what it is, but I just keep coming back to it and enjoying how it looks. The cups with the repeating logos and speech bubbles also look great and the paper wrappers with the illustration make for a great distraction while you eat your vada pav. BTW… vada pad… mmmmm…
The corporate materials are a little drab, mostly because of the tan/brown color used throughout that works okay when it’s used sparingly on white, but a whole folder of it is too much of a sad color. The illustrations would have looked great on a white background. Still, it’s a nice, business-y extension of the consumer aesthetic.
The brick and mortar restaurants, in their limited square footage, do a good job in making the best of their space and branding pretty much every space available, including the vent fan in the back of the kitchen. The brown/tan color is a little oppressive but maybe that’s just my Americanized sensibilities where I need bright happy colors around me.
Overall, and this is my impression as a foreigner who has visited India once and on a limited schedule, this strikes a great balance of an authentic establishment operating with a more commercial approach that bridges the street food customs of Mumbai with the increased presence of Western fast food restaurants.