Established in 2003, ’Wichcraft is a small chain of fast casual sandwich shops in New York, NY, co-founded by TV food personality and chef Tom Colicchio and chef Sisha Ortuzar. With eight locations serving sandwiches using local, seasonal ingredients, ’Wichcraft has stood out and lasted this long because their ’wiches are really damn good. This July, they opened their ninth location in Tribeca and introduced a new identity. No design credit given and all images are cobbled together from their social media accounts, so the presentation is a little hodgepodge today. (Update: Identity designed by New York-based Tag Collective.)
The old logo had a peculiar appeal with its thin serif and “ft” combination where the “f” was the same as the “t” flipped upside down and floating above the baseline that, combined with a name that sounds like witchcraft I always thought it was a nice piece of typographic voodoo. The new logo is a drastic departure in every way, starting with the introduction of a Works Progress Administration-style icon that has an empowered fist gripping some root vegetables plucked from nearby soil. It’s a good-looking icon — would look great on a craft beer too, if they replaced the veggies with hops and barley — it’s well executed, and it’s very different from other sandwich chains. Some negative gut reactions are that the shape is too long and the icon too busy but, as seen in the applications, it works pretty well. The wordmark is set in GT Walsheim, which is one of the more good-natured geometric sans serifs and that apostrophe is boss. Comparing logos, the one downside in the evolution is that the old one supported the high price of their sandwiches ($9.00 and up), looking elegant and upscale, while the new feels like you would get something more Chipotle-priced.
The identity uses a great mix of GT Walsheim, Trade Gothic Condensed, and Plantin to keep all of its materials flexible yet cohesive and given that the identity extends to everything from take-out bags to sandwich wrappers to their own line of coffee and ice cream sandwiches, this has vast applications. There is also an all-elements on deck illustration that appears on the menu, coffee cups, and part of the interiors that starts to diverge a little in quality with wonky type combinations and illustrations that aren’t as finished and crisp as the ones in the logo. (Case in point: the corn and soup graphics). Overall, this feels vibrant and tasty and new — although, admittedly, well within recent trends — that nicely reboots this relatively old mainstay.
Thanks to Gary Peare for the tip.