Launched in September 2015, Amazon Restaurants offers food from favorite local and national-brand restaurants to Prime members across the U.S. and in London. Customers can browse a selection of top-rated restaurants in their city, place orders with their Amazon account at Amazon.com, PrimeNow.com, or on the Amazon and Prime Now mobile apps, then track the status of their delivery in real-time.
Embedded in the marketing team, I worked with and supported executive leadership, product, sales, account management, marketing and content strategist to create awareness of Amazon Restaurants and to drive acquisition, engagement, and brand loyalty. I became the Restaurant's branding stylist; advocating best practices to internal and external teams, providing brand assets and templates used by top level leadership to third party vendor designers.
I was tasked to create a cohesive brand style guide, while working on the day-to-day requests to support the team - with the goal of a 60/40 split.
Having launched Restaurants on the Prime Now and seeing the user base grow rapidly while anticipating the expansion into new markets, the obvious next step was to add Restaurants to the Amazon ecosystem. The assumption was simple, millions of customers visit Amazon everyday and restaurant delivery is another great service to add value to a Prime membership. This would also mean Amazon Restaurants was the next to be added to a portfolio of brands and services already heavily saturated by the Amazon title. Not having an existing identity, rather one that played off the Prime Now brand, the team performed several branding exercises. As a lean team they knew a full branded package was going to be a stretch but if they were going to do it, now was the time.
I joined the team shortly after the logo received Senior leadership sign-off. The word mark displayed in the proprietary Amazon Ember font was created in horizontal and vertical formats including a reduction to the Amazon Smile in the chosen brand color.
When designing a logo it’s not uncommon to make simple mistakes, but it became very clear as I was batching out assets for the product team that the logo was never pressure tested for readability across devices or various screen sizes. The decision to center align the Smile (and not connect the "A to Z") caused a vertical juxtaposition and awkward whitespace that lead to sizing constraints. Working with the engineering team I provided minimum display size requirements for all display sizes to ensure readability was met.
A logo should be memorable, and one of the best ways to make it memorable is to keep things simple. Tuner Duckworth had it right back in 2000 by delivering something definitive and lasting, and the deviation in this case was a poor choice. One that was now used on all the bags, product sales sheets, t-shirts, merchant assets, ect. and any proposed updates to the logo assets would be costly.
As one of the most valuable brands in the world, Amazon has a tremendous amount of equity in the Smile. In fact, they deliver over a 100 billion shipping boxes with the Smile globally. Verticals and programs across Amazon were already receiving permission to lean into the Smile as a stand-alone brand mark. Since Amazon Restaurants was new and our brand needed to build it’s own equity, I advocated for this to be used as a visual element - one we could leverage to allow continuity across the Amazon brand.
If you have never studied the meanings of color as it pertains to marketing and branding, it is well-worth taking some time to understand how color contributes to your overall brand in the minds of your target audience. The brand color “Aurora” was chosen from an extensive ui color palette being developed by a larger UX organization in efforts to create and test a more engaging shopping experience. This early design decision would have a major impact across deliverables, one that I was now responsible to create and reconcile. Marketing would define the brand and product brings the brand to life by building a great product.
I was stuck inside a color theory (assumption) bubble, and I needed to get out. Just like our product, I started revising, testing and evolving the components of our visual identity. Color is a powerful way to build brand recognition and visually communicate brand values. Its importance and influence on our branding development was the key to making a strong and consistent identity. The success of the brand had nothing to do with how I felt, but everything to do with if and how the product will be used.
Type has personality. Show me someone who disagrees, and you've show me someone who’s the walking embodiment of Times New Roman. Developed by font foundry Dalton Maag, Ember is a custom font developed just for Amazon. Ember was paired with Archer, the colorful slab serif by Hoefler & Co. to provide variations across marketing assets and collateral.
Amazon provided guidelines and rules that their onsite graphics must follow in regards to typography. It made sense to stay consistent with these, and utilize print assets to explore more typographic treatments. We even tested and explored a chalkboard style treatment as a nod to diner style daily specials written out by hand.
Icons were bring used across multiple channels for both consumer and merchant consumption: email, direct mail, street flyers, landing pages, sales materials, ect. However the icons in current use appeared to be created ad hoc and as a whole did not provide a consistent or married illustration style.
The new icon set I provided utilized an illustration style that scaled across digital and print, allowing the graphics to be used at any size without loosing important details. The consistency in height to width was taken into account when designing this new set. By doing this, the icons could continuously be aligned at a consistent size ratio. I also created these in an svg format, that allowed for translation to a web font for embedding icons into product.
According to a Millward Brown Global research study, neuroscience studies show that physical media such a s print and direct mail leave a deeper footprint on the human brain than the virtual. In an effort to improve both conversion and adoption rate, an average of 500 - 800K direct mailers were sent out nationwide every month. Direct mailers provided customers within a metro launch area, or extension of a metro area, $10 off their first order with Amazon Restaurants. Our acquisition response rates were more than 20x that of our email campaigns.
We often tested cross promotional promos with other Amazon services. This allowed me to work with other brand guidelines and designers to ensure continuity across our deliverables. Interestingly enough, Prime Video customers LOVED when we did this.
This is the copy block that will display the reflections of the project. This should include what you learned and an over all summary to close the project. Beef boudin meatloaf, shankle burgdoggen andouille chicken landjaeger. Rump landjaeger pork chop swine, salami biltong ham pork. Kielbasa alcatra short ribs buffalo beef swine chuck pancetta. Ham hock salami andouille, buffalo tri-tip turducken ball tip.
To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted or obscured confidential information in this case study. The information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Amazon.
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