A complete identity programme, from naming to advertising, for Saba Dublin.
(A) Image Magazine / Most Stylish Restaurant, 2007
Paul Cadden (Owner of Saba) approached us looking for a name and identity programme for a concept he had for a new Dublin based Thai & Vietnamese Eatery and bar, with plans to potentially develop the brand in the future internationally. The offering was described as a buzzy city centre restaurant with great food, cocktails and service at accessible prices.
Starting with the name, the visual identity needed have a broad appeal to reflect the accessible price of the food. From the business community and ladies/gents who lunch to the style conscious looking for somewhere to eat and drink in the evening. The restaurant should feel as much somewhere to go on a weeknight as a weekend or equally somewhere to go with a small or large group.
“The name Saba was derived from the word Sabai (which comes from the Asian for happy) and Baa (associated with place or bar) which was in keeping with the personality we wanted to create for the brand. Importantly we could also trademark it for future expansion”, says Kathryn Wilson, Design Director at Creative Inc. The logo is a simple typographic solution. The Mrs. Eaves ligature joining an ‘s’ and ‘t’ was adapted to work with an ‘s’ and ‘a’ and crafted to reference the ornate wood and iron fretwork seen in Thailand and Vietnam (a contemporary take on this fretwork was to be used in the interior of the restaurant). A secondary branding device was developed, using the elephant and dress saddle commonly seen in Thailand.
Mel O’Rourke, Creative Director with Creative Inc outlines, “our objective was to create an identity with a contemporary Asian feel which was able to sit easily in any environment internationally. The identity programme needed to have a casual, urban vibe to echo the atmosphere of the restaurant whilst clever attention to detail on pieces of collateral would reflect the quality of the offering whilst not seeming too decadent and expensive. The brand needed to be strong and distinctive to become quickly recognisable on small advertising budgets and to enable it to be effectively applied across a wide range of collateral”
In the last 3-4 years, Saba has become one of Dublin’s most popular eateries and cocktail bar venues. “A central ingredient in our success has been our brand, as our target demographic is very brand conscious. The visual identity and advertising Creative Inc developed, is as much a part of the overall experience for our clients and has become a very visible landmark on the streetscape of the Dublin social scene” says Paul Cadden of Saba
The Saba brand has also successfully extended into the take-out and food store arena under the name Saba To Go with the first store opening in Rathmines. While it shares many of the values of Saba it has been developed in such a way as to allow it to stand alone, with its offering and price points. Saba and Saba To Go have both been developed in a way that allows them to expand both nationally and internationally and both brands have won many accolades and awards nationally (Institute of Designers in Ireland 2008) and internationally, featured in many international publications (Featured in “Eating and Designing”, Index Books, 2007, (A) Image Magazine / Most Stylish Restaurant, 2007 and more recently in “Vivid! – The Allure of Color in Design”, 2010.