Vancouver, BC (June 16, 2004) Subplot Design Inc. has just completed a major brand-creation project for Earls Restaurants with the launch of The Publik Drinkhouse & Eatery in Edmonton. The concept was the brainchild of Stan Fuller, founder of the Earls Group of Restaurants, who operates over 70 locations in Western Canada and the US.
Stan Fuller approached Subplot partners, Matthew Clark and Roy White, for their extensive experience in creating brands from the ground up. The challenge was to extend the Earls’ customer base with a new bar concept that would target a more youthful audience. With only a working title and location established, the project included establishing the brand personality, and developing the name, logo, identity and extensive applications throughout the bar environment.
Subplot partner Roy White explains, “The target audience of 22-35 year olds are looking for an environment that is inviting and neither intimidating nor pretentious. Their choices are limited to Sports Bars where you watch the game, Lounge Bars that are quiet and cozy, Pubs that always have the crazy old guy in the corner and Night Clubs which have cover charges and long line-ups. The Publik is a bar that is casual, energetic and that encourages interaction.”
A distinct point of difference for the bar is strong food menu, something typically lacking in bars. The menu, like the environment, encourages interaction through a share-plate approach. “We feel we stayed true to the desire to come up with something that is spontaneous – where it is all about creating a memorable night out”, says White, “Everything supports this strategy: from the menu, to the identity, to the environment (by Vancouver’s MStudio) that is dominated by a huge bar – the whole space is visually connected and social.”
“The name, The Publik, clearly communicates that this bar is a place for the people, by the people,” continues White. “Even ‘Drinkhouse & Eatery’ sets the bar apart from the usual industry clichés and creates a truly unique category.” The visual identity then takes up where the name leaves off; using clever pairings with the word “Publik” to set up a whole verbal and visual language for the identity – with a bit of attitude. Beer glasses are etched with “Publik Property” and, on a trip to the bathroom, patrons are met with “Publik Exposure” signs above the urinals. Coasters, banners and posters feature the word pairings with rock and roll imagery in a playful way: “Publik Enemy” is paired with an empty beer glass, and “Publik Consumption” with an image of an amorous couple. The consumer even encounters the brand as they are about to stumble home: a “Publik Transport” card with local cab numbers is included in their bill.
Stan Fuller could not be happier. “What I like about what the guys at Subplot did is that they managed to connect with the consumer at every possible touch-point; something that’s often very tough to do. I mean, how many brands do you know that connect with people while they are in the bathroom?”, says Fuller. “It really emphasizes the importance of sound strategy coupled with creative design that is relevant and unique to our marketplace.”
There are high hopes that this initial location will be one of many to launch in other major Canadian cities in the near future
About Subplot Design Inc.
Subplot Design Inc. is a leading brand design firm with international experience in creating category-defining corporate and consumer brands. We specialize in powerful ideas that build intelligent, relevant, stand-out brands and communications in what has become an increasingly competitive marketplace. From our Vancouver, BC owned and operated offices, we do this with breakthrough creative brand design including Logomarks + Identity, Brand Packaging, Product Design, Print Communications, Annual Reports, and Retail Identities + Environments.