Embracing Africa in Design: Asanka restaurant rebrand case study

We studied a host of African patterns and loved the idea of incorporating the rich shapes into the brand indentity of this African fine dining restaurant

The meaning of the word Asanka on a branded card

What we wanted to do

Have a look at the existing design with fresh, modern eyes. Add an African spin to the current brand image. Bring out the fascinating story behind the restaurant.

How we did it

We love branding that includes African elements. We took inspiration from African fabrics and created a new brand image.

Jollof rice on a plate with garnishing
Jollof rice — a popular, flavourful West African dish

Every time we are presented with a branding project we remind ourselves that to us branding is a visual representation of a defined underlying strategy. This informs the way we think of each element that contributes to the overall brand.

This in itself is no easy task, it takes patience and foresight. There is no copy-paste strategy for a brand. There are two quotes we think of constantly when dealing with a branding project, John Jantsch accurately said: “Branding is the art of becoming knowable, likable and trustable.” This is exactly why design is not enough, there must be a strategy. The second quote from David Brier reinforces the fact that the brand elements must work together to tell a coherent story, a story that supports your strategy.

If you don’t give the market the story to talk about, they’ll define your brand’s story for you.

Logo design

An Asanka or pestle and mortar

The Asanka is a cooking utensil that dates back centuries in Africa. It has multiple uses in the kitchen, the most notable of which is grinding. For this the Asanka has grooves engraved into its earthenware make-up which makes it ideal for its purpose. The Asanka also doubles as a pot from which food can be eaten and more importantly shared.

The client already had a wordmark, the word Asanka in a light thin font. To complement this we created a logomark that would sit next to the existing wordmark. Our design mimics that of the Asanka pot — a thin circular outline that is similar in weight to the wordmark as well as a groove-like pattern inspired by the grooves of the Asanka pot itself.The logomark is interesting and has many potential applications from a graphic design perspective.

Pattern Design

The word Asanka in a badly drawn sketch :)

We looked at a plethora of different African fabrics and fell in love with the concept of using them with the brand to reflect the African nature of the restaurant in an elegant classy way that also highlights the fine-dining experience the restaurant offers. What started off as a hand-drawn sketch soon turned into a seamless pattern that we used as the basis of a lot of the design work for branded elements. The colour palette was chosen to match the dominant colour present at the physical restaurant.

Branded Items


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Posted on
October 3, 2019
in the
Brand Identity