Branding: Malama Cocina.
Logo suite and collateral for San Antonio-based mobile restaurant Malama Cocina.
Malama Cocina is a mobile restaurant specializing in Mexican-Hawaiian fusion, gourmet chocolates, and catering services. Headquartered in San Antonio, Malama is helmed by chef Erin Gomez. Erin and I met at a pop-up where we were serendipitously tabled next to one another and instantly shared laughs and a love for skateboarding. I love meeting people who are pursuing their passions and Erin does this with a big smile and a laid back attitude, fully embodying her connection to Hawaii. After some conversations between customers, she gave me a sample of her chocolate that left me surprised how well-crafted chocolate can be outside of the point-of-sale at any given store. While I do love my sugary treats in 3 Musketeers and Reese's, Malama's chocolates take on much more nuanced flavors that my palate had yet to experience. We briefly talked branding and exchanged info to connect at a later date. During our next meeting we would solidify her branding suite to include a full logo, icon, wordmark, brand guidelines, and additional collateral with stickers, banners, and stamps.

I created a few concepts using food, people, and plants to symbolize her direction of providing healthy, great-tasting food for her clientele. She was drawn to the concept of a woman holding a bowl of fruit which, after some combining elements of two concepts I sent her, doubles as the sun and moon--a dynamic she is particularly fond of and wanted to incorporate. I created the woman in a near-likeness to Erin as this is her solo endeavor. I gave the character a modernized version of a traditional folklorico dress with a simplified approach removing the wavy and detailed trimmings these dresses usually have. By using a bowl of fruit as the celestial objects, this satisfies her request to include a sun/moon dynamic and also fits well with her business of providing food. Subtle details and nods are what I really enjoy including in my branding projects for people. This bowl would also serve additional purpose as her icon submark. I find logos to be extra versatile when it can also be separated into parts and used individually, while still retaining the feel of the brand and full logo.

Erin and I then spent time fine-tuning lettering and colors from here. The colors she wanted to use were vibrant and sunset-driven, as well as indigo being super important. We ultimately found a semi-primary palette that was vibrant enough to lean more towards a sunset rather than a Mondrian painting. Erin also let me know months later that she was possibly subconsciously influenced by a Tycho record in her original palette. Which is rad--I love Tycho! We tightened everything up and created a finished logo she was stoked on. Leading up to the final logo, I was able to educate her on the design choices I made during the creative process and how they will help solidify her ideas without overcomplicating them. I love helping people understand the development of their logo creation, including them in the process by accepting their suggestions and helping them execute their ideas in the most effective way that yields an end product capturing their original intent. When we had the full logo completed, we used the logo and its submarks to create additional collateral including stickers for promotion and labeling, banners for catering and pop-ups, and rubber stamps for packaging. I provided her with additional brand guidelines as well to help her with consistency as she created the look of her food trailer, any additional menus etc. down the road, and Malama's social media. Erin was very pleased with the final logo and with the patience I exhibited along the way. I totally vibe with how someone's vision and intent are extremely important that they want to take the time to be involved in the overall look of their brand. It's great to be trusted with this responsibility to bring someone else's vision to life. Malama Cocina will be opening soon and I am excited to pay her a visit to try all of the yummy foods.

Malama Cocina can be found on Instagram, @malamacocina, and on Facebook.
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