Established in 2017, originally as Mission Food, Taster is a delivery-only food brand in France that works by creating its own “restaurants” that exist solely to cook for delivery through existing delivery companies like Uber Eats and Deliveroo. To date, Taster has created Mission Saigon, offering Vietnamese; O Ke Kai, offering Hawaiian and Pacific Rim flavours; and Out-Fry, offering Korean street food. Again, these are not restaurants you can walk into, rather they are kitchens optimized for takeaway and Taster is the parent brand behind them. Taster recently introduced a new identity designed by London, UK-based Koto.
Koto was asked to create a new name and brand identity for Mission Food. First we built a brand strategy around the idea ‘make every meal special.’ This works as a promise to the customer: never settle for anything less than delicious, whether you’re on your own in front of the TV or socialising with friends. It also speaks directly to the kitchen staff who, without a bricks and mortar restaurant to service, can focus on making great food and getting it out the door fast. We gave them a name that’s immediate enough to work across European markets. It’s bold, emotive and it works from a meta brand perspective: each sub brand gives you a taste of the whole collection.
Koto provided text
From a visual identity perspective, the ‘T’ and tongue symbol worked really well. Having settled upon these, the effort was in getting the ‘T’ Tongue to work at all scales across everything from merchandise to signage. It’s playful and a bit tongue in cheek (ahem), with an obvious nod to emojis, without feeling like an emoji itself. It’s also easy to apply and - because it feels quite different to the sub brands - sits well above them as a meta brand to aid customer comprehension. We paired it with photography that emphasises the generosity of portions and freshness of ingredients the sub brands have become known for.
Koto provided text
The old name sounded more like a non-profit whose goal was to provide food for those in need and the logo looked more like kitchenware product retailer — so both the name and the logo were relatively good but just not for this company. The new name is catchier and more consumer-friendly but I do question if it’s too English-y — and I don’t mean England-English but language-English. Maybe it doesn’t really matter as it’s not a brand name that people will interact with regularly, given that none of the restaurants are called Taster and neither orders are placed nor deliveries are made through Taster, at least not for now. Still, the name and logo need to attract employees, chefs, investors, and, possibly, eventually, the general public, who might or might not be ready for a tongue-wagging logo.
When I saw it, I immediately liked it for no other reason than there is no other logo out there that is simply a tongue sticking out of a disembodied mouth (Rolling Stones notwithstanding, yes yes). I can totally see how this could be a turn off for many people — especially if you suffer from Touloungeaphobia or Lingophobia or merely are grossed out by tongues — but, in its cartoony rendition, I find it humorous, engaging, and memorable. It’s also perfectly done, with the shape of the mouth flowing into the stroke that helps define the tongue and the subtle shadow that helps create enough depth. The wordmark is nice too and I like how the uppercase approach makes it look a little more serious while the flair on the “R” alludes to the tongue.
I dig this pattern so much. It needs to go on Print All Over Me stat.
The applications are a little loose and unfinished in part because they are stuck somewhere between wanting/needing to be a business-to-business brand and a business-to-consumer brand at the same time. Right now they are designed to accommodate either need but without being too convincing yet — in a few month’s or year’s time, as the business evolves and figures out what the goal of the Taster brand is, then it will be more interesting to see how the applications are helping shape it. In the meantime, it’s a jovial and entertaining identity that breaks the mold.
Thanks to Gianluca Caico for the tip.