Branding Spotlight: Rye

A few month back while I was in Salt Lake City, Utah for a design meet-up, I was able to tour some of the most eloquently-branded coffee shops and restaurants I have ever seen. As a resident of Los Angeles, I was a little surprised to be so impressed by the branding of places in Salt Lake City, and I was excited by the city’s very cool design community. It had sort of a earthy, hippie-meets-modern-hipster vibe.

There was one spot in particular that really struck me: RYE, a casual eatery whose claim to fame is whiskey and waffles. We went for breakfast one morning and I was immediately impressed by the exterior, which was all black, with their logo painted on the side of the building. The interior was a sort of branding Disneyland for me; the more I looked around, the more I noticed little things I loved. It was subtle and strong brand consistency.

While their logo, a bird with wings made of wheat or rye, is striking, what stuck out for me was the use of the branding in the interior design. They had given thought to environmental design, which can be hard to come by. Near the entrance, they have a wood partition with the “rye” or wheat element from their logo turned into a cutout pattern. That pattern was repeated in other parts of the interior as well, such as a painting on the inside of the skylight.

Behind the bar, they have a beautiful painting of a bird holding wheat in its mouth. It’s something you might look at and think, “what a nice painting,” but if you pay attention to brand, you will notice it is reminiscent of the bird in the logo while also tying in the image of wheat or rye. The subtle attention to detail and incorporation of brand at this establishment is so beautiful.

This was one of those places and experiences that made me excited to do what I do. Even though this was the work of someone else, it made me happy to see someone’s vision so well-executed. Huge kudos to Dan Christofferson of on this project! And if you are in Salt Lake City, be sure to experience RYE for yourself! The food is also on point!

Check out Rye’s website




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Carolina Vangilder of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Carolina Van Gilder
Project manager / Assistant
The coordinator, facilitator and scheduler for all Stellen Design projects. She communicates with clients about everything from contracts and payments to design edits and revisions. She helps keep the logistics on point so Stellen Design can live up to their reputation.
Réka Juhász (ray-ka u-has)
Contract Designer

Réka is a Hungarian-born, American-trained award-winning brand designer with over 12 years of graphic design experience. She loves to incorporate hand lettering, tactile elements, or letterpress into her work. She believes inspiration is all around us and that making brands look good is a worthy pursuit in life.

Jordis Smalls of Stellen Design Branding Agency in Los Angeles CA
Jordis Small
Creative Director
Jordis is a big believer in continued education. She makes it a point to attend at least four workshops or conferences a year to keep her skill improving. She is also a big advocate for “creative play” and loves to spend her spare time trying new things and learning new techniques.