• Date added
29 March 2023
WAYGOOD is a friendly and unpretentious neighbourhood wine bar that doubles as a meeting place in Melbourne, Australia, known for its relaxed and welcoming ambiance.
Brisbane-based brand building shop After Hours was tasked with building the brand from the ground up. This included developing a strategy, creating an identity, designing a website, and crafting a brand expression that would reflect the essence of the venue while imbuing it with storytelling and spirit.
Amidst the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic for the hospitality industry, Martin Pirc, a seasoned veteran in the field, contemplated the true essence of dining. Uninterested in the pomp and grandeur of fine dining, he sought to create a more relaxed and unassuming atmosphere where the fundamental tenets of hospitality – gracious service, ample fare, and a convivial atmosphere – could flourish. Pirc's previous establishment, Saint Urban, was a formal and upscale dining experience that didn't align with this new vision. Consequently, he transformed Saint Urban into WAYGOOD, a neighbourhood pit-stop serving good food and great wine.
After conducting market research and analysing consumer behaviour, After Hours identified a trend among individuals seeking experiences that foster a sense of connection, community and nostalgia following prolonged lockdowns caused by Covid-19. Consumers were no longer interested in traditional sleek and trendy environments, but instead sought out venues that reminded them of pre-pandemic life.
In response to this insight, After Hours worked to build a brand that embodies the warmth and friendliness of a welcoming home. The branding and venue design aims to evoke the feeling of a close friend's dining room, where customers can drop by anytime for any occasion. The "come as you are" theme promotes a relaxed and unpretentious atmosphere, making it a comfortable space for both catching up with old friends and making new ones.
“Coming out of a train of endless and gruelling lockdowns, we wanted to create a brand that celebrates Melbourne’s art of hospitality and fostered connection. The venue concept was created for the community, so the brand identity reflects our goal of encouraging people to reconnect at WAYGOOD.”
The visual identity was created to be laidback and simple, achieved by creating a brand synonymous with themes of community, warmth, and connection. Working with Melbourne-based copywriting studio Sunday Lunch, After Hours developed a playful and genuine tone of voice that aligns with the brand's core values. This cohesive approach ensured the brand's messaging and identity were consistent across all communication channels.
During the renovation process, an old iron beam inscribed with the name "Waygood" was discovered – a nod to the local building business Johns and Waygood that operated in the area in 1856. This historical reference ties into the brand's strategy of evoking nostalgia and community connection, thus adopting the name as a tribute to the building's history. The original lettering of the beam influenced the design of the logo, with the character forms incorporated into the wordmark.
The use of illustration was a crucial component of the storytelling process. Custom illustrations were created in a sketchy style, effectively aligning with the laidback, "no fuss, no frills" approach. The illustrations depicted members of the local community gathering around a table to engage in good conversation while enjoying food and wine, conveying the brand's emphasis on connection and community. They were designed in a way that allowed them to be combined to create a recognisable stamp, and also to be utilised as individual illustrations and graphic assets across various mediums.
A minimalist look was achieved through the use of Sailec, which was paired with Old Standard to add personality to the design. The colour palette, anchored by rich yellows, was chosen to evoke feelings of warmth and comfort. This helped to set WAYGOOD apart from its local competitors, who typically used forest green as their primary colour.
After Hours collaborated with Melbourne-based photographer Kris Paulsen to showcase WAYGOOD's casual and inviting atmosphere. Through art direction that conveyed energy and liveliness, the photography utilised high-flash lighting and a relaxed composition to capture its true essence.
In a unique move, disposable cameras were also added to allow patrons to capture and preserve their memories at the wine bar. These elements were carefully chosen to create a cohesive experience across all brand touchpoints, further establishing Waygood's distinct identity in the market and enhancing the customer experience.
“The WAYGOOD website was designed with a simple and easy-to-use interface that highlights the venue's offerings through large hero images and a clean layout.”