Apple Cafe - Part Two

When creating our Apple Cafe logo, my biggest obstacle was to find a way to create a new, fresh logo using an often over-used object: the much loved apple.

I solved this problem by forgoing the typical red, and going with a bright yellow-green shade instead. Also, by halving the apple and exposing a scattering of seeds, I found a way to show off the apple in a new, unusual form. When drawing the apple shape, I drew clean, curved lines, skipping outlines and creating deliberately simple shapes. i wanted the apple in our logo to be able to stand alone, without the need for words.

When adding words to my design, my goal was to maintain the simplicity of the logo. I chose a simple sans-serif typeface. Because this will also be the logo of our Apple Nutrition store, I created a logo that will be easily interchangeable between the two businesses. I placed the word "cafe" in small caps, a contrast from the lowercase letters of "apple". I did this deliberately to create a visual separation of the two words. The Apple Nutrition logo will be exactly the same, only with the word "nutrition" replacing "cafe".

And so, after much research, many sketches and thumbnails, the Apple Cafe logo was finally born:

After creating our logo, everything else began to fall into place. We had a definite color palette, a logo, a sans-serif and script typeface, and had established several repeating design elements:

Menu Board
The visual center of Apple Cafe is the menu board, and everything pretty much revolves around that, as the most prominent design piece.

The biggest, most obvious problems with our current menu board was that there are no pictures, and it is very hard to read. Nothing about it says "smoothies", and it is very dark and boring.

My initial plan was to create something similar structurally wise to the existing piece. But, after much thought and research, we decided to head in another direction. And this is what we created:

It was different from anything we'd seen, but very modern and fresh -- a series of wooden hanging frames, painted Apple Cafe colors, and matted with the much loved Arcadia fabric. We wanted to keep the menu boards themselves very simple and easy to read. So, the added fabric would give the entire piece a bit of pattern, texture, and added visual interest. Also, dividing the sections into different frames gives us the ability to switch out new pictures easily as promotions change.

Now it was just a matter of taking all our ideas and inspiration and making it a reality…


  1. I just want to say that I painted about half of those frames. Thank you Thank you. I have probably received 200 hundred or more compliments on the menu board! Becki would you please take a bow?!

  2. Missy O'BrienMarch 1, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    you are such a delight to my heart. I adore you and love that when I look at these posts and I can remember witnessing first hand the countless hours you devoted to apple cafe.
    I really enjoy how you point out all the details that I find so pleasing but never knew why. For example, the contrast between capital letters and non capital in "apple CAFE" is BRILLIANT! Yay for your creativity producing a new and much more improved apple cafe!