Joseph’s Pizza

Our role

Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Creative Direction, Print Collateral, Web Design

Joseph’s Pizza is the oldest pizzeria in Jacksonville, Florida. Joseph’s opened in 1956 and was part of early boom of pizza places popping up around the country. When “Joseph” Bateh moved to Jacksonville from San Francisco, his passion for cooking led him to buy the restaurant and learn all the original recipes from the then owner.

Continuing those classic Italian recipes, he grew the menu and the establishment to what it is today (fig. 1). After he passed away, his wife, daughters, and granddaughter, continued to manage the operations of the restaurant, growing his legacy at their original Main Street location, as well as opening a second location in Atlantic Beach.

Fig. 1 - Honoring the man that started it all

When Joseph’s Pizza approached us, they were recovering from a small electrical fire at their original location that damaged a portion of the restaurant. With that accident as motivation, and their 60 year anniversary on the horizon, they hired local architecture firm Content Modern to begin a full renovation of their interior (fig. 2), and engaged us to work in parallel to redesign their brand identity.

Fig 2. - Renderings of new interiors

The restaurant, particularly the original location, has enjoyed a loyal customer following for decades. Joseph’s is a local dining tradition passed on from generation to generation, and maintaining that nostalgia was an important part of their brand. The family knew that refreshing their space and brand would pull in a new, different clientele, but they didn’t want to compromise their history or alienate their loyal customers.

We were tasked with creating the design assets they needed to establish an identity that was true to their story, but flexible and modern enough to develop and grow with their business.

Fig 3. - Understanding the brand

We started with the family, asking questions that gave us insight into their history, story, and vision for the future. Our time spent with each family member revealed key elements of the Joseph’s brand (fig. 3) that centered on nostalgia for family and food as well as the sense of belonging that comes from sharing a meal with those closest to you.

With a better understanding of the brand, we turned our attention to competitors in the area and the qualities that make Joseph’s unique. We presented the family with suggestions for their brand belief, a comparison of other restaurants in the space, and strategies for differentiating themselves in a crowded market (fig. 4). From a visual standpoint, we felt that mid-century modern influences, from typography and colors to overall style, fit well with Joseph’s past and could carry the brand into the future.

Fig 4. - Presenting our research and recommendations

After presenting designs with a mid-century modern influence, the family decided on a typographic solution that drew inspiration from the original sign that has hung above Joseph’s for decades.

Fig 5. - Final brand identity and color system

The decision led to the development of a design system that took stylistic cues from the type and colors of the 1950s and 60s. The inclusion of these elements captured the nostalgia the family wanted to protect while simultaneously introducing a friendly, modern style that would give the brand room to grow.

With the design system in place, we began implementing it throughout the key touch points of the restaurant. The process started with menus, apparel, packaging, interiors, and of course, their online presence.

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