Branding a new restaurant at Port Lympne

There is an exciting new addition to Port Lympne’s ever growing collection of restaurants and accommodation.  Babydoll’s is a new Italian restaurant serving wood fired pizzas and Mediterranean dishes.  Oak Creative have been busy branding the restaurant and preparing for the launch date. Before we go on, let us first of all explain the name Babydoll’s…

Babydoll is Howlett’s eldest and most beloved Gorilla.  She is one of the last original surviving Gorilla’s born and raised at Howlett’s by the Aspinall Family.  She is renowned for being a loveable, bold and mischievous character – there are many anecdotes about her escapades at Howlett’s! At 55 years old, she is in golden days now and spends her time lounging, eating and sleeping.  This is why ‘Babydoll’ just had to be the name for the new restaurant, in homage to her. So it was Oak Creative’s task to translate the name Babydoll into a restaurant brand.

Port Lympne specifically wanted the logo to be a hand drawn sketch of Babydoll to fit with the rustic style of the restaurant.  We agreed that an illustration the perfect way to communicate her personality and the love that the Aspinall’s have for Babydoll.  Ewen from Oak visited her in her enclosure to spend some time observing her, before drawing her.  Gorilla’s can have a naturally aggressive stance, so Ewen was careful to ensure he sketched Babydoll looking relaxed and captured the softness of her facial expression. We decided to add a basket of Italian garden vegetables in Babydoll’s lap, with her munching on them to tie in the restaurant association.  The finished drawing show’s that Babydoll enjoys her food and that she is welcoming you to her restaurant!

After the logo, we went on to design menus, signage and much more. Here’s how it all looks:

Sketch of Babydoll