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A Rebrand ‘Wrapped’ in International Flavor

If you’ve ever sat back to enjoy a spinach wrap for lunch, you may want to thank World Wrapps, a restaurant chain in the West Coast. A pioneer in the creation of delicious gourmet sandwiches wrapped in flatbread, the chain has been tempting San Francisco foodies since the early 1990s. World Wrapps evolved over the years and even explored different directions under new ownership. But now the original owners, three longtime friends, are back, and they are determined to take the chain boldly into the future. One of their first tasks: Repositioning the brand to show the world that World Wrapps’ days of innovation aren’t behind them.

With a new look, a new attitude and mouthwatering new flavor combinations, World Wrapps is out to prove that international flavor has a lasting appeal. To lead the rebranding effort, they turned to San Francisco brand strategy and design firm Noise 13. The collaboration proved to be wildly successful as they cooked up the perfect recipe.

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Creating a Modern Feel
When Noise 13 started working on the project last August, one of the first orders of business was giving the brand a modern look. “Part of this whole refocus was elevating it from where it was in the ’90s to what would be contemporary today,” explains Dava Guthmiller, founder and chief creative officer of Noise 13.

The project consisted of a number of cross-media elements. Noise 13 was responsible for the positioning, visual identity, packaging, website and some artwork inside the restaurants.

While the old brand was colorful and eclectic – a testament to the time period in which it was developed – Noise 13 wanted to create something that was a little more toned down this time around. The color palette they decided on featured neutrals such as orange because it resembled many of the spice colors that go into the sauces. Other prominent colors were earthy greens, blues and reds.

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To convey the right message, it was important to capture the essence of the restaurant chain. After all, “the identity defines the core of who they are,” says Guthmiller.

Key to the menu is the fact that everything has a global feel with a touch of inspiration from such locales as Asia and Latin America. The brand is also heavily inspired by international street food culture. To convey these themes, Noise 13 came up with statements such as “destination flavor” and “global inspiration” to describe the brand. They also featured images with global associations such as passports and street art.

For the logo, they created a play on the company’s initials. A custom pattern resembling multiple little wraps angle over one another to form two “W’s.” Surrounding them in a circle is the company name, as well as the names of the three most prominent offerings on the menu – wraps, rolls and bowls.

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Making the Design Work
With this project in particular it was important to have a uniform look. World Wrapps is more than just a restaurant; it is a chain, and the owners have big plans to continue to grow it. As new customers are introduced to the brand, the goal is to have everyone come away with the same pleasurable experience.

The strategic use of the color palette ties the various elements together, as does the logo, which is not only featured on the website and the exterior of the restaurants themselves, but also stamped on the packaging for the individual wraps, as well.

There were other things to consider when working on the project. For example, functionality was a big concern when designing the website since it would need to enable customers to order online.

Originally a passion project started by friends, World Wrapps is poised to conquer new territories and introduce new audiences to its globally-inspired cuisine. With such a promising future, all parties involved are happy to have a brand that’s enduring enough to go along for the ride. Says Guthmiller, “We wanted to make sure it can last for another 20 years.”

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Author: Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a freelance writer and editor who has written extensively about business, careers and success for such publications as Working Mother, Real Simple, and AARP Bulletin.

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