Identity Designed is a showcase of brand identity projects from around the world.

Taqado Mexican Kitchen

Contributed by Elliott Brown of Dubai-based Moloobhoy & Brown.

Taqado Mexican Kitchen logo

M&B were approached to design and create the brand for a new Mexi-Cali restaurant concept to be launched in the UAE. We worked with the client to define who they were and what they stood for. The manifesto formed the basis of the personality for the brand:

“Taqado is a taste of Mexico. No, we’re not talking about sombreros and jumping beans, but Mexican cooking with fresh ingredients and colourful flavours. Our tone of voice is honest, descriptive (without going over the top) and always spoken with a smile. We try to paint a picture with our words so people can taste our sentences, but let’s not waste their time. Life is too short for long copy so let’s be fast, fresh and friendly.”

The logotype was inspired by old luchador wrestling posters that use big, tightly stacked, woodblock-esque type. We found the Hoefler & Frere-Jones font Champion Gothic gave us the fantastic textural quality we were looking for. Visually we wanted to offset the type with a selection of Mexican inspired fun illustrated characters. We worked with the talented London based illustrator Robert Sae-Heng to create these. The illustrations are used to help support the overall positioning of the brand ‘A Taste of Mexico’. We wanted to create a textural experience at all customer touch points, using carefully chosen materials such as Mohawk’s Loop Antique Vellum Straw paper and biodegradable packaging. Even the takeaway bags are stamped by hand.

When it came to creating the ambience of the outlet we wanted the look to define the essence of a street vendor, cooking with authentic ingredients, just like you’d find at a sizzling kitchen in San Fernando, California. The uniforms, baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables, a chalk board menu, recycled bottle chandelier and hand painted nachos stands all added to the atmosphere.

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity
Robert Sae-Heng sketching the Taqado characters

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity
Taqado’s journey to Dubai map

Taqado Mexican Kitchen brand identity

Taqado.com, coming soon.

View more brand identity work on the Moloobhoy & Brown website. Follow the agency on Twitter.

7 appreciated remarks about “Taqado Mexican Kitchen”

  1. I love how the bold use of typography contrasts with the illustrations. Amazing how one character (Q) can add so much personality to a brand. I also love how they adapted the logo for a horizontal format (signage). Great work M&B.

  2. Thank you Jocelyne. The type was a lot of fun to play with, the Q character was subtle hint towards a chilli. We also had to adapt the typography for Arabic use over here in Dubai.

  3. First of all, I love the illustrations and the colour scheme – everything about it is very evocative and full of life. The coupons and menus also look great.

    I have to say, though, I’m uncomfortable with some of the font usage. The ‘c’ in ‘Kitchen’ looks very odd to me. On top of that, the copy is difficult to read with all the different sizes. At first I thought I should put emphasis on the words in bold, but then it becomes even more awkward. I tend to steer clients away from this kind of thing in order to preserve legibility and ensure the message doesn’t get lost, although this is my opinion only.

    Nice work overall, though, and the execution is excellent. I agree with Jocelyn, the Q subtly adds a lot of character.

  4. You’re welcome Elliott. Looks like a great place to eat with great energy & fun atmosphere!

  5. How very interesting. This is not the first time I have seen this exact style of restaurant and, because of that, the advertising is similar in feel and treatment. Off the top of my head are Chipotle Mexican Grill, http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/Default.aspx?type=default ; Pancheros Mexican Grill, http://pancheros.com/food ; and, Qdoba Mexican Grill, http://www.qdoba.com/ . It is a very popular Mexican Restaurant concept obviously. I love all the identities and brands for them all. It would be interesting to see a comparison of all these brands noting similar font usage, colors and illustrations. I’ve always loved Chipotle’s modern Aztec (art http://www.flickr.com/photos/79811980@N00/4573687814/ ) theme in their restaurants, and I think their overall marketing to be the best, but they achieved initial success faster than the others.

  6. Great approach indeed on the ID, illustrations and colors. However, it does have a huge disconnection from the actual taste of Mexico. The manifesto above clearly stated this is not about sombreros, yet there are still a lot of elements showcasing sombreros. The sombrero symbol is widely used in TEX-MEX restaurants in the USA and other popular venues such as Hollywood movies. Also a big No No is that there is no place in Mexico that serves authentic food on a hard shell tortilla. Like Trish said, this is a concept based on American restaurants that serve TEX-MEX food which is a world apart from authentic mexican cuisine.

  7. I like the simplicity of the design, but one thing — why would you change the colors of the logo on the apron?

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