Backlash is a brand new culinary offering in Belfast, serving up the meatiest, freshest burgers paired with beautiful craft beer and ale, what more could you ask for? Backlash is exciting new venture from local food tycoon Gary McIldowney that aims to focus on great burgers with an exciting dining experience to-boot. The dining experience at Backlash will transport you to a contemporary, urban landscape where burgers are king and craft beer pairings with every unique flavour. The Backlash restaurant is a modern take on 80’s burger joints with urban interiors, music and overall ‘cool’ vibe.
Our mission for the Backlash brand was to bring the urban vibe and culture into the identity and narrative. We explored a myriad of contemporary and vintage urban style fonts and typographic techniques as well as the bold colour palettes of late 80’s and 90’s hip-hop. What we created is a blend of all our research and development into the urban/burger & beer culture. The identity comprises of layered, contemporary type with an eye-catching Neon Pink colour scheme. In order for the identity to be justified we developed a clever narrative for the brand – taking inspiration from a classic Tupac Shakur song “Backlash – home to 3 of Belfastz most wanted – burgers, beer and shakes.” With this in place we were ready to begin exploring plays on relevant words and phrases such as ‘HIP HOPS” for craft beer campaigns and “BUN DMC” for burger campaigns and posters. This introduction of clever, witty language sets the Backlash brand apart from the traditional burger joints in Northern Ireland, developing a sense of ‘coolness’ when engaging with the brand. This idea of ‘cool’ is developed and visualised throughout their interiors, menus and uniforms. We proposed that staff were snapback baseball caps with dark denim aprons. Backlash is a young brand at heart however nostalgia is introduced through language and audio in the restaurant which sets to attract the 30-40 year old market, harking back to their years of breakdancing and 90’s hip hop.
With the language and identity up and running we began work on the menus, loyalty cards and website to act as the initial brand collateral for Backlash, preparing them for launch. The menu is reflective of the proposed interiors for the restaurant, focussing on strong, striking patterns with a contemporary, stark layout. Colour palettes begin to flourish though out the printed materials with bold greens, pinks and blues (echoing the forefathers of urban culture). We also introduced a set of brand iconography for Backlash that reflects the urban, contemporary theme. This set of illustrations comprises of a burger, a lightning bolt and a beer bottle and acts as an extra brand mascot to be used on the reverse of menus and loyalty cards. The illustrated iconography is planned for way-finding systems across the restaurant interiors and on the website as well as use across a series of homemade sauces to accompany your burgers.
The Backlash brand identity is contemporary, trendy yet timeless, bright and eye-catching, all of the attributes of the business ambition at the beginning of the project. This identity highlights how important ambition setting is for a business. Knowing who you are, whom you are here for and how you are going to do it are essential questions for any business in order to reach their ambition. We look forward to working with Backlash more and more as they prepare for launch in store and online. On the run up to launch we will be developing their social media strategy and working to finalise menus, loyalty cards and the new website.