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princely project . Branding in Unexpected Places

As delis go, Sweet Peppers Deli is a rock star. If you live in the Southeast, you may have had the opportunity to experience one of their restaurant franchises. The Sweet Peppers family includes 17 franchise- and company-owned stores now open in five states. Beyond their fresh approach to the deli concept and their sinful cookies, I have an affinity for the restaurant for two other reasons. Sweet Peppers Deli is the brain-child of two great restaurant companies launched right here where I live in north Mississippi. You can read all about their story here. I applaud any business offering excellent products from the rural deep South. Also, through my position at Dux D’Lux Advertising, I had the privilege of working with the folks at Sweet Peppers Deli in crafting their original brand image and extending it through many of it’s applications on-site and in advertising outlets. I’m honored that they chose to become one of my first clients after launching Small Pond Graphics as well.

I recently completed a painting project for the restaurant group, and it’s a great example of how this client is applying their brand in unexpected places. The Chattanooga, TN franchise is in the process of launching a breakfast line of high-quality coffee and other goodies, complete with a special in-store “coffee station.” The corporate office asked me to create some artwork to display behind the station as a focal point to highlight the coffee offerings and reinforce the brand in a sort of point-of-purchase application. Through a series of iterations, we settled on coffee cups and coffee beans paired with vibrant colors and a strategically placed Sweet Peppers Deli wordmark.

This set of three designs for the coffee station is actually an extension of a collection of paintings completed several years ago for the Sweet Peppers Deli franchise system as they were just getting off the ground. Faced with stores opening with very colorful, but blank walls, the team opted out of choosing the standard restaurant artwork warehouse fare. To their great branding credit, they saw these blank walls as an opportunity to provide the interiors with not only a unique look that was unmistakably “peppers”, but also a prime venue for highlighting the brand’s core value of ¬†fresh ingredients and dynamic offerings. Through Dux D’Lux I produced a series of digitally printed canvases that were then overpainted with scattered brush strokes for a custom look. The paintings applied bright colors and whimsical brush strokes to various fruits and vegetables. They started as small cocktail napkin-sized acrylic paintings on fabric which were scanned at a large scale to emphasize their texture. The result was a series of wall art pieces that really make the table surroundings pop.

In addition to images of produce, I also developed painted versions of the brand’s two logo icons to be hung in-store as well. It was a great opportunity to see this well-developed brand translated into brush strokes — an unexpected and brand-reinforcing solution to the necessary picture-hanging. Kudos to Sweet Peppers Deli for knowing and understanding the importance of branding in unexpected places!

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