Creating a new,
spicy culinary

In 2018, Reynolds Community College came to the VCU Brandcenter asking for branding work for their new culinary program that was opening in the food desert of East End, Richmond.

Drawing heavily from the new culinary center's architectural flair and Richmond’s robust food scene, we created The Kitchen; a completely original design and brand position aimed at increasing student enrollment, enticing potential donors, and reflect a new, hungry 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 tone 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 turns heads and symbolizes Richmond's distinct point of view on the culinary arts.

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A community
determined to survive

If you've ever driven to the East End of Richmond you see a community with deep roots in the history and character of this city. Between the single-row homes and corner stores are community gatherings and cookouts accompanied by music, cars, and fireworks.

Dropping a new culinary school in the middle of an old, historically-black community means it not only needs to provide jobs and educational opportunities, but it also needs compliment the neighborhood and culture that surrounds it.

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 Kitchen at Reynolds Culinary Institute was positioned as a new chapter in preserving and cultivate this vulnerable community.

Image of a user journey the follows the career path of an employee.

A spicy new brand identity

Traditionally culinary programs like to play it safe. They use lethargic messaging and conventional designs that lack the energy and creativity that are instilled in the culinary arts. With Reynolds Culinary Institute, we wanted to to break the traditional mold of other culinary programs.

By nick-naming the school "The Kitchen," we carved out our own real estate between the stigma of community college and the excitement of the culinary arts. We partnered this distinct name with an equally disinct logo inspired by the most important tool for chef, fire.

With this new direction for Reynolds Culinary Institute we're confident we have a brand identity that will turn heads and inspire students to join the culinary arts for years to come.

Image of a user journey the follows the career path of an employee.
Image of a user journey the follows the career path of an employee.
Image of stickies on a poster from a workshopo ativity.
Image of stickies with connecting string on a poster from workshop activity.

An school disguised
as a foodie mag

College websites are typically boring—but food isn't. Instead of building a traditional educational website, The Kitchen will put food, restaurants, and chefs at center stages.

The site will features articles about our new chefs, recipes of their new creations, and reviews and editorials about the ever-growing Richmond culinary arena.

With this digital strategy, The Kitchen at Reynolds Community College will not only be a state-of-the-art culinary school, but a leading news source in Richmond's food scene.

Image of a user journey the follows the career path of an employee.
Image of a user journey the follows the career path of an employee.