Modern comfort food in the heart of the city
Unconventional Diner

Modern comfort food in the heart of the city

Unconventional Diner
Brand Strategy & Design

Unconventional Diner is a modern twist on the traditional American diner serving comfort food, baked goods, and lots of healthy options. I partnered with the founders to establish their brand strategy and early interior creative direction.

Dirty Caesar Salad
“Dirty Caesar” Salad.

Unconventional Diner’s co-founder, Eric, knew exactly the kind of atmosphere he wanted to create. Below, you’ll see brand values and positioning statements we refined over time.


A space for all to eat, drink and socialize. A neighborhood joint. Your favorite Tuesday night hangout. A drink with the girls. Saturday date night. But, also, the perfect spot for your quarterly board meeting. Key target audiences include millennials (20-40), working professionals (35-60), and Convention Center/Shaw neighborhood visitors.


Playing off the high/low nature of the comfort food and designer décor — a French culinary pro cooking meatloaf. Paper plates redone in ceramic. A handcrafted, walnut chair that resembles a folding chair. Casual elegance. Jeans and blazer.


We don’t take ourselves too seriously. Slightly irreverent and self-effacing. “Have you tasted the world’s most pretentious PB&J?”

For neighbors and visitors it’s home away from home.
Brand Strategy Slides
Slides from the design strategy presentation to partners outlining brand positioning and inspiration.
Brand Strategy Slides
Slides showing the “big idea” along with type inspiration and type concept to extend the brand.
Logo Concepts
Presentation to partners showing early signage and logo concepts.
Business Card
Final business cards.
Restaurant Interior
Art fills the space.
Double Cheeseburger
Double cheese burger with a sunny egg.

Donuts and baked goods are perfect for grab and go.

Deconstructed PB&J
Deconstructed PB&J.
Cafe Seating
Cafe seating mixing key color with textured materials.
Exterior Signage
A shot of final exterior signage. Signage was key since the area hosts of out of town visitors.
Bar Seating
Wideshot of the bar. Red barstools are a nod to old school diners.

After establishing the initial creative direction, I handed off assets to an in-house designer to continue to execute. This included typography, color, logos, signage, menu and social media concepts.

With the goal of owning modern comfort food, Unconventional Diner is a huge success. It was an honor to help this awesome team establish their vision.

Unconventional Diner Press
Since opening, the founders have been recognized with multiple awards and press coverage from Forbes, The Michelin Guide, The Washington Post, The Washingtonian, Zagat, Eater and more.
What I Did
  • Hands-on Design: Creative Direction, Brand Strategy, Logo/Identity, Interior/Signage, Social Media Concepts
Design Credits
  • Scott Kester, Interior Design
  • Eric Eden, Brand Strategy, Copywriting
  • Ryan Warden, Collateral Design

Do you have a team in need of design leadership?

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