A Tasty New Design for the Pie Spot
Not to brag, but it's pretty awesome when a restaurant specializing in homemade pie asks you to re-imagine their website. Because, obviously, in order to really get the creative juices flowing, you've got to sample the wares, am I right?
Pie Spot is a neat little bakery just down the street from my office here in northeast Portland (they're actually across the street from my other clients, GreenSavers), and while I'd been a customer for many years, I was introduced to them formerly by my frequently graphic design collaborator, Ashli Hughes of Cascade Creative PDX. Ashli has been Pie Spot's social media manager for some time, and saw their frustrations with their old Wordpress site first hand. It was time for something that really showcased all the yummy goodness the restaurant offers, and would make it easy for them to manage their ecommerce during business seasons, when they prefer to disable online ordering in order to best serve their customers.
I had a whole lot of fun with this project--in fact it may be one of my very favorites, and I've designed a lot of websites over the years! We streamlined the navigation aggressively, pulling all the key content onto the homepage. The thinking behind this being that someone hungry for some pie shouldn't need to spend their time looking for the location, hours or menu--how many times have you been on a restaurant website and not been able to find any of that information?
Handmade Style, Edgy Accents
Pie Spot already had an awesome logo and a cool color palette, so I didn't do a whole lot to play with that, beyond darkening the minty green and deepening the red--both for readability reasons (I'm big on accessibility). Instead, the design elements I focused on were sketcherly styles to bring a touch of the handmade to the eye-popping photography. The ecommerce photos are quite edgy (in an awesome way--this photography was by JD White, a local photographer who does really creative work with still lifes), as you can see below, so balancing that element was key.
To start, I created a few fun icons that called back to the original site's background, including a whisk, rolling pin and apron. These have a sketched style and feel "handmade," just like the Pie Spot's pie holes!
Even with those icons as road markers, I still felt like the site needed something more to soften up the style, so I called upon my friend Melissa Averinos, who has done hand-lettering for Evian and is co-authoring a book of hand-lettering projects, to create a few fun spots in her distinctive handwriting for this project. Here are some of her drafts:
We originally loved the pie-shaped doodle so much that we thought we'd use it on everything, but it actually was too matchy-matchy, like a sweater set. We needed a more eclectic feel, so ultimately we mixed up Melissa's doodle style in three different spots.
I have a very specific aesthetic I gravitate to when it comes to typography--you can see it in action here on this site and on many of my projects. It tends to be classic with a twist, but Pie Spot needed a more casual type treatment, which pushed me creatively quite a bit. (It's always fascinating what elements are a challenge.)
I settled on a suite of fonts I never thought of combining, but ended up loving. They are:
LTC Bodoni - Headlines (typekit)
Proxima Nova - Body (typekit)
Thank you to Jessica and everyone at the Pie Spot for making this such a fun project! I loved working on this site and can't wait to see it grow with you!