CASE STUDY

Deer Lodge

Weaving the rich heritage of an historic restaurant and tavern into a refreshed brand that has roots in the past, but lives in the present.
Established in 1932, the Deer Lodge is a longtime favorite watering hole nestled in the mountains of Ojai, California on Scenic Highway 33. We were asked to share its story and give it a new, but timeless look.
THE STORY

Carrying on a legacy of hospitality.

We researched the Deer Lodge's history and found a simple through line that brought it all together: "home away from home."
Over the years, people have been called to Ojai for a variety of reasons. Some came seeking peace or prosperity, soaking in the mineral-rich natural hot springs, or mining for gold in the hills. Others came to Ojai in search of a mystical utopia, through its association with the Theosophical Society, its native Chumash lore, or inspired by its depiction as the fabled Shangri-La in the film Lost Horizon.

As the oldest restaurant and tavern in Ojai, the Deer Lodge has long served as a meeting place where people from all walks of life come together to fill their bellies and lift their spirits. Today, we are proud to be the newest caretakers of this home away from home for both travelers and locals alike. And even though times have changed, the spirit has stayed the same.

There's a little somethin' for everyone here at the Deer Lodge. In keeping with our backwoods heritage, we offer classic Californian cuisine, along with a wide selection of craft beers and spirits from up and down the West Coast. We have vegetarian and vegan options, as well as a large dog-friendly patio and a game room with a pool table and lounge area. With live music and smokey barbecue on the weekends, this is a place where you can bring the whole family during the day, or dance with your friends into the night. This is where memories are made, where the blacktop ends and paradise begins. This is where time stands still.

Welcome to the Deer Lodge.
Rows of white tents in a field in Ojai, California.A group of young people having drinks around a fire.
VISUAL IDENTITY

Ding, ding, dinner's ready.

The Deer Lodge has an ecclectic clientele of locals and tourists, families, bikers, artists, ranchers, hippies, and everything in between, but they're all brought together by great food.
A logo featuring the silhouette of a deer inside a triangle.
ORIGINAL LOGO
The design aesthetic of the Deer Lodge's original logo wasn't in alignment with the restaurant's rich history. Its use of gradients was too modern, but it also felt outdated and tired at the same time. We wanted to keep some key recognizable elements, while exploring other ways to infuse the spirit of the brand.
We kept the deer motif, but reimagined it to feel more dynamic and inviting. The deer is framed in a traditional dinner triangle, a fixture of ranch houses on the frontier since the 1800's. A striker was used to ring the triangle and call the family in for a warm meal. This iconic symbol evokes a sense of home, community, and the anticipation of delicious food.
A photo of a beer glass with the Deer Lodge logo.
A hat with the Deer Lodge logo.
COLOR PALETTE

Inspired by the Ojai landscape.

The Deer Lodge is surrounded by trees, hills, and mountains that turn a pinkish hue at golden hour. Like Ojai at sunset, the palette mixes chaparral earth tones with a flash of color.
IRON
PMS BLACK 6 C
RGB 29 23 12
HEX #1d170c
OLIVE
PMS 2336 C
RGB 75 77 64
HEX #4B4D40
CANVAS
PMS 9220 C
RGB 244 226 211
HEX #f4e2d3
LINEN
PMS 000C White
RGB 247 243 240
HEX #F7F3F0
YARROW
PMS 2016 C
RGB 255 185 128
HEX #ffb980
TERRA
PMS 2029 C
RGB 244 131 122
HEX #f4837a
TYPOGRAPHY

Classic, road-worn, and familiar.

A set of distinct typefaces work in tandem to capture the Deer Lodge's unique character and provide flexibility of design.
LOGO/BRAND
SCRIPT
HEADLINES