Zagat Refreshes Brand With Creative Studio Franklyn

Posted inBranding & Identity Design

Zagat is a brand that’s been around since 1979, and it was time for a brand refresh. Focused on the brand’s history and strong visual language, Franklyn brought in cheeky irreverence. Plus, switching the primary typeface from Helvetica to Neue Haas Grotesk is just furthering proof that Zagat is no longer basic. 

User-generated since 1979, say bon apetit to the refreshed Zagat brand. Founded by Tim and Nina Zagat in the late 70’s, this iconic standard for all things scrumptious was the originator of crowd-sourced, user-generated content and reviews, providing a medium for the voice of everyday restaurant goers. After a decade behind a paywall and an acquisition by Google, the focus had been shifted away from what was so important to the brand: the voices of the community.

In 2018 Zagat was acquired by The Infatuation and Franklyn has had the pleasure of working on re-introducing the brand to it’s roots and imagining what it might have evolved into had it kept its heritage intact (and had digital in mind)

The evolved Zagat brand leans heavily on it’s history, moving logo and parent brand from Helvetica to Neue Haas Grotesk (fist bump to @commercialtype), creating a simple but critical update to the brand’s core visual language. Pair that with a few of our favorite typefaces inspired by the era – Avant Garde, Cheltenham and Tungsten – and a fresh, flexible typographic palette is what you’ve got.

This is a spin through where the logomark was, is and how it came to be. We were asked to be surgical with the mark itself and think bigger with the system… but thought you might like to know. Hope you enjoy seeing a quick hit of our Round 1 presentation – Directions A and B (in motion) – and where we ended up.

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