Reynolds

Culinary Institute

Year

  • 2018

Role

  • Consumer Research
  • Brand Strategy
  • UX Design

Drawing heavily from the new culinary program’s architectural flair and the city of Richmond’s creative energy, “The Kitchen at Reynolds” is a brand identity campaign designed to increase student enrollment, entice potential donors, and symbolize a new chapter in a distressed area of Richmond.

The Problem

Community colleges are considered starter schools and culinary schools tend to keep to a very prescribed voice and identity.

The Opportunity

Tap into Richmond’s distinct creative and culinary culture to build an identity that defies conjecture.

The Solution

Creating a youthful, vibrant identity that symbolizes Richmond’s distinct point of view on the culinary arts.

A powerful community determined to survive

Working with local community leaders, prospective students, and culinary instructors, we engrossed ourselves in the economic and cultural issues impacting the residents of East End. As one of the poorest areas of Richmond, the Reynolds Culinary Institute not only offers opportunities for new jobs and businesses but will symbolize a new initiative to preserve and cultivate the community that surrounds it.

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A spicy new brand identity

Traditionally, culinary schools like to keep it safe. They use lethargic messaging and designs that lack the natural energy and creativity that's instilled in creating savory dishes. For Reynolds Culinary Institute, we wanted to break that mold.

Renaming the school "The Kitchen" will help build a healthy space between the stigma of community college and the excitement of the culinary arts. And when we partner that with a magnetic logo inspired by the most essential tool a chef has, we have a brand identity incomparable to any other culinary program.

A school site disguised as a foodie magazine

Let’s face it, college websites are boring—but the food isn’t. Instead of building out a traditional education website, The Kitchen’s digital presence will put the food and chefs that prepared it center stage. We will feature rotating articles on students in the school, the food they are creating, and the growing culinary arena in Richmond Virginia.

With this new digital presence, The Kitchen will not only be an institute of higher learning but a leader in the evolving Richmond food scene.