Established in 1998, Giraffe (now Giraffe World Kitchen) is a chain of restaurants in the UK with a focus on family-dining (now with a focus on millennials after the families go to sleep) while bringing a little bit of various cuisines from around the world. Launched by a husband and wife team with one location, Giraffe has grown to include nearly 50 locations and was sold to Tesco in 2013, who in turn sold it to Boparan Holdings last year. Now, Giraffe has a revised name and a new identity designed by London-based Ragged Edge.
Following a comprehensive research phase, Ragged Edge developed a range of propositions focusing on different elements of the offer. Consumer testing delivered a clear winner: Taste A Whole New World. Ottignon says: “The new brand idea gives Giraffe a purpose that resonates with both existing customers and the new target audience of experience-hungry millennials. Just as importantly it’s true to its founding purpose: to travel the globe in search of the world’s best dishes.”
I have never been to a Giraffe, so my opinions are based solely on what I’ve read and perused on Google Images. (I have seen the one in Heathrow’s terminal 5 because it’s hard to miss.) From the pictures it looks like a half-decent place to have a half-decent meal that’s one or two levels above McDonald’s but nothing fancy or expensive, and I can see its appeal for kids and their parents.
Giraffe became ‘Giraffe World Kitchen’. And a new identity signalled the brand had grown up without losing its much-loved vibrancy. Inspired by the sign-writing common to independent restaurants all over the world, Ragged Edge created a set of hand-painted typefaces that gave Giraffe World Kitchen a credible and authentic voice. The colour palette is bright but rooted firmly in food, while photography and illustration focus on telling the stories around each dish. A new logo makes sense of the name, gently playing on the giraffe’s unique ability to raise its head above the trees in search of new discoveries.
The old logo had sort of the right idea, in trying to make tall letterforms like a giraffe and mimic their silhouette of thin tapered legs that grow into something bigger. The execution, though, as it barely needs to be pointed out, was terrible. Each letter had its own set of proportions, angles, and independent governing rules that added up to a somewhat cohesive logo when seen from afar but a mess up close. The new logo does a better giraffe interpretation, extending the “F” in a way that would be cartoonish and ridiculous in any other logo but working perfectly with the name here. I also like how it nuzzles the next “F” as if it were an adult and child pair of giraffes. The logo introduces the brush stroke aesthetic that drives the rest of the identity and it establishes a fun, accessible look for the restaurant while also making it slightly more hip and attractive to their desired target audience of millennials.
The brush stroke type family is pretty good. It has nice variation of the same characters to provide a more authentic feel and it has the right amount of brush texture so that it’s recognizable but also not a corporate parody of brush lettering. The illustrations above also show a groovy alternate logo lock-up badge.
The printed applications and packaging are attractive but I wonder if they could use some kind of contrasting typeface so that it’s not all brush all of the time. Still, everything has a playful vibe and the restrained layouts, especially in the packaging, help bridge that gap between family-friendly and Instagram-friendly.
The neon sign might be the best thing about this identity in that it takes the playfulness of the logo but then gives it a cool, diner-y twist. The interiors might be a bit overdone with so much large typography on the walls but those lamps are lit. Overall, if I were walking down the street by myself or with my kids I would be 100% more likely to stop in at a new Giraffe World Kitchen than I would have at an old Giraffe.