Urban Express

Good food on the go

Project type: Web, Branding, Identity, Graphic
Developed on: Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, Atom, Wordpress, Divi

Based in the heart of Belfast, just a stones throw away from St George's Market, Victoria Square and Belfast Central Train Station, Urban Express brings fresh high quality sandwiches and snacks to Belfast's busy workers.

Urban Express established itself at the end of the summmer in 2016 and therefore required branding, identity, website design & development and graphic design for promotional material.

The main goal of this project was to create an identity and brand for Urban Express that would help define the sandwich & coffee shop, in an ever growing food retail market.

Branding & Identity

Meeting with the client, we first broke down the main elements that were required for the project. This included graphic elements both the shop interior, such as sign boards & window manifestations, and promotional material, including loyalty cards, flyers and exterior overbag graphics.

After speaking with the client, the brand keywords were developed:

Casual, Relaxed, Atmospheric, Modern, Natural

We decided to keep the colour scheme neutral, going for a traditional coffee & cream effect, throughout the branding. At the same time we wanted to attract the busy office worker, while retaining a casual look and feel.

The first step was to design a logo that would help define the clients brand, researching similar brands in the market, not only in Belfast, but also within the UK & US.

What we came up with was a logo that we felt communicated the brand of the business effectively. Focusing on typography, a graffiti-esque typeface was used for the main 'Urban' text, creating a sense of its city centre location, while the 'Express' text used a chunky clean font, emphasising its moreish, flavour-filled food.

The circular 'ring' around the main logo text added a casual, quirky feel to the design, inspired coffee stains on work notes.

One of the key features of the location was the glazed partition windows that sweeped the across the front of the shop. I felt that something special had to go here, to help the shop stand out from its competitors and help drive additional foot fall into the shop.

Finding an silhouette of Belfast city, I decided to add some missing features, including 'Samson & Goliath', the Harland & Wolff cranes and 'The Balls at the Falls', two iconic structures in Belfast skyline.

The cityscape graphic really stood out as an additonal branding element, and so was used for the window manifestations, in promotional material, and on the website.

Website Design

The client wanted a website with an integrated CMS, enabling their staff to post updates and maintain content. Have experience building on the Wordpress platform, along with the 'Divi' wordpress plugin. I was able to design & develop a custom website for the client.

The website is designed in a one-page format, with the possibility of an additonal 'blog' section in the future. The brand elements communicate through the design, including use of colour scheme and typography, as well as a defined company message and language.

I wanted to use big chunky sections on the website, with really crisp chunky typography, creating a sense of full-filled good food, separating the sections through the use of colour and photography.

I think the website works overall as part of the clients brand. With focus on social media last year, the business is growing its brand well, with 2017 allowing the business to develop further and utilise the website more.

Graphic Design

The major graphic design work was completed during the summer of 2016, including the logo design, overcourt bags, loyalty cards and manifestations.

Using the Belfast cityscape as a major design element allowed us to create a Belfast-branded coffee & sandwich shop, with an iconic window graphics, attracting visitors from St George's Market or those just travelling into Belfast city centre.