Project Drei: Ein Restaurant wurde umgestaltet

Alex Herr
11 min readMar 23, 2022


Now this is a project.

I’ve been so, so confused on where the hell to go here. Frankly, I was so busy with Practicum and Chimera AND Gmitter, but now I am finally knee-deep in this project without even putting on my rubber waders.

have you ever put rubber waders on when they’re muddy? Yeah, didn’t think so. basically it sucks massive ass and then your toes are all muddy and gross. (my dad used to be a fisher and my grandpa used to be a pro fisher, fun fact)

Anyways, I think that’s still a bit relevant as I began to delve into my ideas.

Like I said, I’m pretty damn far behind. Lots to catch up with with not much time to do so.

Part I: The Branstrom

Section 1: The Name

So, I was pretty stumped jumping into this project. Ironically, this is my element and I find myself hesitant on where to begin. Where do I begin? So… I created the most ridiculous concept possible by using the chaotic-neutral mess below:

These are taken from Lord Scott’s suggestions on his Medium page, but I decided to be fucking coo-coo and go for the whole “random pick me out” deal.

From here, I got these concepts that I began to vibe with:

A German Smokehouse (smoke haus)
A fish camp popup restaurant (bubbas shrimp basically)
Californian Takeout Korean BBQ
Norwegian Raw
Ice Cream Tavern (wew)
Italian Speakeasy
Mongolian Teppanyaki-Style (that kind of sounds cool)
Science Cafe

From here, I was pretty excited about German Smokehouse. Maybe it’s my inner-Deutsch that loves it. I mean, I’m pretty much fully German (with some weird amounts of Scandinavian and what-have-yous) so like it could be a pretty exciting area to do my designs for.

German Smokehouse? German Smokehaus.

Ach ja. Progress, at last.

Section 2: The place

This actually took me some time. I looked all day at this, trying to find the right place that fit not only my idea but also the food coming to it. I couldn’t just make this a smokehouse in the freaking middle of Berlin (well, I mean I could… but I think that wouldn’t really constitute for some great quality meats or anything like that). I think going south may be the best option.

The thing is, I don’t want it to be too much in-your-face German INSIDE of Germany, so like embracing that would be really tough.

Plus, If I want to go imperial German Wolfenstein (which in my opinion is the coolest), I’d need to worry about the damn neo-Nazis. I wouldn’t want that to be part of this concept whatsoever. In fact, I’d like this restaurant to condone the idea of it, perhaps starting as a restaurant that can push that idea out the window by supporting factions that abhor the Nazis to further prove the point that we wouldn’t be affiliated.

…Or alternatively I could just like take very small elements of it out and use that. Huh, the world is endless here…

(For some reason, my roommate actually blames getting Lyme disease on the Nazis. That’s a little tidbit about my living situation right now.)

And back to Earth.

Basically two different ideas are budding from this:

One: I could make a restaurant based IN Germany, but I wouldn’t want it to be focusing on too much over-patriotic Germany, or else it would be like going into an aggressively US restaurant smack dab in the middle of Nashville Tennessee (the most American town). If I went this route, I could focus on a more unique style budding from elements in Germany that aren’t in your face but rather subtle as we develop into a new age.

Was alt ist, ist neu, ja? (what is old is new, yeah?)

Two: I can go outside of Germany and focus on a little more patriotic style to it. In this way, I can explore a lot of classical elements from Germany’s past (without hitting the damn Nazis). My BIGGEST challenge here would be to not make this seem like a Hitler-sympathizing smokehouse. I would need to basically combine Mission Barbeque with some more Boho aspects that aren’t really frilly and lame, because… well, meat.

Actually, something kind of like this to a degree:

Uh, thank Scott. lol The colors, the patterns, the emphasis on space and icon elements… need I say more? It’s great.

More to come here as I develop. I can figure out where to place this after I think of the name and show this medium board to some people. Scott, your input here would be fantastic.

More to come hopefully later today (3/23)

Truly, this has been a difficult project for me. So far, no inspiration beyond what I have here at all. Like, nada. I’m challenging myself to find a solution here soon, but I am refusing to fall short on this.

Section 3: The Concept

With the thought of a German Smokehouse in mind, the concept for this restaurant finds beginnings through quite a few different veins of track:

One: German Wolfenstein rara Ramstein style Smokehouse infused with a similar style to Mission BBQ’s branding.

Less stars and plastic of course. Also, the American Way? lameeeeeee.

Two: Federal Smokehouse style with old Bavarian choppage here and there. Less commercial, but avoid making it seem too pricey.

Three: Smokehouse mixed with Diner style to romanticize the “American Dream” and also play homage to the beauty of that good ol’ weinerschnitzel (veener shnit zul). This could be a sort of Germanic way of making fun of 1950's US culture

On second thought…..

Four: Higher-class style with a touch of simplicity. Think Pattern, think Class! ACH JA. This could be cool because I could use multiple patterns and cultures to represent different ways to prepare meats in this smokehouse, in which the style can stay this contemporary german style and the food can follow the style. Huh.


Section 4: I need a Name

Well, I think any name right now would be more appropriate for the idea, which hasn’t really been made yet.

Part II: The moodboard(s)

Here’s a moodboard I started working on, with another on the way:

\Modern patterns to push a very abstract sense of meat. I’m not sure why, but the pattern reminds me of ground beef, which is pretty sweet. The Cross thing in the bottom-left is taken from some old german beer stein that I found that was a micro part of the pattern.


Definitely still aggressively German.

As I said in Discord:

“On the [first moodboard], I decided to go in the direction of very assertive Germanesque attitude with hints of a modernized empire. The idea behind a German Smokehaus here would be that the food would be prepared traditionally, yet hone in on German tradition. I really worry that it would scream “nazi”, but I think if I include some other color elements, I may be able to prevent that. I am thinking about adding a yellow and a blue if that is the case. This restaurant would not be based in Germany, but would be inspired by the food and culture in a country like the UK or Canada. This would be about the same level as Calamaris in Erie in terms of scale.

Okay, maybe a bit better than Calamaris. This is MY restaurant, dammit.

Moodboard #2a & #2b:

This design is heavily inspired by the one weird one I saw up above (reference “ICH SAG DIR, ACH JA!”) but instead of following the idea of color, I wanted the idea of pattern and German shapes to come as the primary effect. The food would still be smokehouse themed, but would have a much cleaner style done with more contemporary platings.

As I said in Discord:

“On the orange [and black & tan] one, I decided to look into the Warhollian aspects of pattern & contemporary shape in German pop art. This could be based anywhere. The aspect of pattern is the most important part of this concept, with pattern elements being essential in every finely-prepared cuisine. The scale is certainly higher-end, but appeals to a more upper-scale youth crowd. I have ideas of making responsive logos, but I may also go with no color at all (see the black and white version).”

_ __ __ so, what did the people say?

basically, avoid the first one because it’s a bit too nazi. I could go that direction, but I feel like I wouldn’t have as much fun and make it mine that way. Instead, I can go with something more… werkable.

I’ve decided on a minimal color restaurant with all patterns.

The second option is the choice.

And now, a name.

Part III: The Name

The name requires a LOT of research. I’ve been looking again for days, thinking to myself that perhaps I could go with a less german name and more of a germlisch (german-english). Other me wants a good german name that can be good in english and german.

In this concept, I explore the patterns more than the colors, so how can I juxtapose that?

Here’s the name ideas:

für Pschorr (for sure)
Kauderwelsch Korner
Kauderwelsch Ecke
reinstoff (it’s already been done but the establishment is permanently closed!)

Fuck, I love reinstoff.

But this exists, still:

To be fair, “das reinstoff hat deschlossen” spells it pretty clear that it has closed.

So, this Reinstoff was born. My Reinstoff. It’s sort of for the taking, too, considering a restaurant with the same name has been shut down for over three years now. I’ll have to see, but I think that’s where I start. Ok, let me argue why I can do this:

Say someone named—well, let’s go with John just for this argument—died and then three years later you name your kid John without even knowing the other John. That’s Reinstoff, right there.

Well, not actually Reinstoff. Reinstoff in German is just so smart—it means pure substance. Like that fits soooo well with my theme.

To make this concept better, I have decided to call this smokehouse:

There’s something that’s just so sexy about that.

REINSTOFF: innovation räucherei (in German)



Part IV: The drafts

Truly, it’s amazing how much I fell apart with this project. I spent a whole week in the dark—trying to catch and slay that damn Chimera. It’s done now, the battle’s finally over.

Now the war for Reinstoff begins.

Today is Sunday, April 10, 2022. I am now two weeks behind everyone, but that pressure doesn’t necessarily bother me yet. It’s 1:30PM, and I just got done after a very necessary night of rest and honestly I feel better now that I refreshed.

I guess the important thing to learn here is that by resting, I’m able to actually get my ass back in shape with my work eventually. I needed it, truly. I feel bad though—I am eons behind in like, every class. It’s maddening. It’s like the motivation got sucked out of me by that damn Chimera. I felt like a husk all week, so now that I took some time to think and dream a bit, I shocked myself back into this. I will overcome this and give it my all. Starting with the sketches. I did over 100 sketches to compensate, and after a while, they sort of just started coming to me in unique ways. It’s wild.

Logos: 1–57
Logos: 58–69 (nice)
Logos: 70–104

For each of these renditions, I looked into a multitude of different sources, including Behance, Instagram’s 36 Days of Type, Google Images, and my mind.

My idea behind using monograms came from the exquisite sense they have—to a degree, a monogram can be used in so many places that by using it here, I can have an effective mark that doesn’t just look like some race car or some shit. It’s an artistic mark that can be used and embellished with the brand. I want the logo to be responsive and capable of being utilized in many patterns, since the idea comes from patterns as a whole.

Digital Renders

I began to render several of these digitally. As a reminder, I wanted to make sure that the pattern comes out the most, so the shapes are important in that they can fit into patterns to be used to go with the branding:

The idea that I began to see come up was that the basic shape is hyper-abstract and brilliant to use with patterns. There’s just so much that I can do with that pattern as a whole, and the best part is that it abstractly makes a “beast” shape when placed at a 45° (I finally figured out how to do a degree symbol!) angle.
This one has more structure. Based on my micro-crit with my teacher, Lord-King Scottimus Bartholumous Gladdicus, I wanted to create a pattern that was more structural here. The font, hand made by me, was loosely inspired by a font that had kanji ligatures in mind. The purpose of using ligatures here creates patterns and gives me opportunity to use every letter as a pattern if I so choose to. The pattern at the top right was created just by using the “R” by itself.
My third rendition here uses more angle rather than structure/abstraction. This font could easily be replicated in my opinion (perhaps a future project?) but also has a beautiful, futuristic vibe to the way it works.

Formal Renders

For these renditions, I used the same font just for ease, but I also think that Brandon Grotesque has been at the centre-point for this project as a whole. I just don’t want to be too biased yet… but I did do a good amount of type exploration in the beginning section with my moodboard.

Renders in B + W

After the crit last week, the class assisted me in determining my next and final rendition of my logo here:

I also adjusted the color as well. This way then the color had more of a bone sense to it.
I started looking into how I wanted to do all of the imagery to keep it low-key but also really patterned. I’m inspired by the spirals that Junji Ito uses in “Uzumaki”, his best-seller. That’s where the idea for the images came from.

The Grand Finale

Finally, sorta. I want to do so much more.. there’s so many possibilities here, but I simply ran low on time. I will develop this further though. I strive to even get a menu done eventually, but I just don’t have the time to hand-pick my recipe right now.

Without Further Ado,

Here’s Reinstoff.

This sort of turned into my baby. It’s industrial, contemporary, and has a lot of work for the alt-marks. This sort of became a life of it’s own.. something I really wanted to achieve here.

The Supplementals

I went nuts here. I went and made SO MANY patterns. New patterns, crazy things that I’ve never done before. I even generated patterns online and popped them in. But I am unable to use them quite yet.. I will have purpose though. I assure you.

The supplemental packaging was created to give more of an idea of the pattern choices and where they would live. I wanted to use some other patterns, so I showed how they could be used in different locations. The biggest “odd” alt-mark is the Reinstoff in lowercase that specifically only lives running up the side of papers. I wanted that for usage as an element that identifies without a logo but still shows the company easily and minimally with strong utilization of space. As for the other alternate marks, I used simple strokes for the areas where there was heavy color and for exploded backgrounds to deconstruct and create asymmetrical patterns in the black. Finally, the knife collection was made for more than just novelty—I used the English alt-mark there so that the company could be easier to distinguish. This would only go for the products that would be created for retail, which the restaurant would have. I want every piece of item to be collectible and valuable here.



Alex Herr

Graphic Design / Creative Direction