When our new clients, Brian Malarkey and James Brennan requested window displays for their existing restaurant Searsucker, and their highly anticipated restaurant Burlap, we were so excited! For years, we’ve been inspired by the elaborate window displays of Manhattan and most notably Simon Doonan‘s work for Barneys of New York. It’s an amazing way to gain attention and unlike any other medium we generally work with. It needs to function similarly to outdoor since the overall message needs to have stopping power and it needs to be easily understood. But since most people have the opportunity to stop and take a closer look, it also needs to provide rewards for those who take the time to enjoy the details of the display.
Since the Searsucker brand had already been established, the tone of voice, the coloring, fonts, etc. needed to fit within what people already recognize as Searsucker. The voice of Searsucker has always been off-the-cuff & poking fun at itself, we had the opportunity to think of new ways to portray this attitude. Placing Brian backwards on the seersucker striped donkey seemed to be a perfect fit! We stripped Brian’s face onto a photo of another man on a horse, stripped that on a donkey, added stripes and placed all that on a historical image of a town street. The effect is a seamless extension of the Searsucker brand.
With the Burlap window, we were also given the opportunity to establish the brand, including logo, colors, fonts, tone of voice, etc. Brian and James explained the new restaurant to be Asian Cowboy, meaning the flavors, while inspired by the traditions of Asian cooking, are translated to a more bold, brazen and unapologetically brash perspective.
For colors, fonts, etc., we looked to Kung Fu and Western movie posters. We gave texture to the type and threw the outline off-center to describe it’s rebellious nature. When it came to the concept of the display, we were inspired by the large rotisserie section being built in Burlap. After researching Asian meat markets, we decided that recreating the rotisserie/meat market in the window was the perfect way to attract attention and express the essence of Burlap in an honest way.
We’ve enjoyed watching people walk by and stop to check out the displays. Hopefully that will translate to a super successful restaurant opening for Brian & James. Can’t wait for Burlap to open in July!!