Dirty Dog Hot Dogs was a small fleet of hotdog carts before the pandemic but was forced to cut down to all but one cart. Now, Binyam, the owner/operator, is ready to start again. For this client I created a brand identity that embraces urban, well-worn materials and that embodies the late night fun of the neighborhood where DDHD operates, Cap Hill and built it out to be as scalable as possible for their eventual expansion.
Collaborators & Roles
Tom: Research, Brand Character, Mission Statement
Anders: Research, Brand Character, Mission Statement
Alex: Research, Brand Character, Mission Statement, Brand Concept and Development.
Dirty Dog Hot Dogs was a small fleet of hotdog carts before the Pandemic. Now Binyam, the owner/operator is ready to start again, but wants to have a distinct identity sets him up for success as he expands his business. How can we build a brand identity that will resonate with Dirty Dog’s customer base and what deliverables can we design to attract business?
I worked with other students during the initial phases of this project, we completed several identity exercises together before diverging to build our own solutions for the same client. We started by using the Brand Deck, before moving on to tonal territories. We determined that Dirty Dog could be described as Unpolished, Fun, and Comfortable. Each of us built out 3 moodboards to explore the direction of each trait, then a larger board that encapsulated how we each wanted to take the brand as a whole. At this point we largely diverged, working independently but occasionally checking in for feedback. I chose to pursue themes that leaned heavily on late night social life and storied urban settings. From there, I developed two loose motifs
Light: Light is always a subtle way to attract people's attention, and especially late at night light can be like an island of comfort and hospitality.
Layers: I fell in love with the idea of layers when looking at the old buildings of Seattle and the Ghost signs that appear on their old brick work. It carried over to old homes as well, and statues in parks. Things that were made with care, then worn down, or patinaed from constant use, and repaired and repainted time and time again, each layer adding another layer to the story.
Come on a Journey
It's late, you’re walking around on Cap hill with your friends on a warm summer evening, in late July. You’re hungry, and you want something to munch on before heading home or you head off to the next stop.
Poster: On the many poster-wrapped poles and walls you see a poster asking if you’re hungry, with a prominent QR code. You take out your phone and scan it.
Site: The QR code takes you to the landing page for Dirty Dog Hot Dogs. Front and center on the page is the current location of the cart, and a Menu. The cart is close by. You start walking.
A-Frame: As you round the corner, you can see in the distance a pool of light and several people forming a loose line. There is also a bright red beacon shining above the heads of the crowd. It’s the Dirty Dog logo. As you approach, you can see that the beason sits atop a giant sandwich board, making it easy to read through your options while you wait.
Loyalty Card: You get your food and pay, the service is quick, but friendly. As the cashier hands you back your card, he also offers a loyalty card with 1 stamp. Looking it over, it has the usual buy N, get the Nth+1 free, but on the back in that same QR code, so that you can always check where the cart is should you ever find yourself craving a hot dog again.