Quarter Pounder

In Tokyo, a burger chain has popped up. Not a huge deal, except that this chain has made a distinct choice to be a “non-branded” brand. Quarter Pounder is the name of the restaurant, and not surprisingly it serves quarter pounders. The double quarter pounder is also available, making these the only items on the menu. The brand identity is likewise spartan, sporting no logo in the classic sense. Unlike McDonald’s or Burger King, the design for Quarter Pounder’s storefronts are decidedly plain, just black with some photos and red racing stripes.

This I find refreshing. In a world where every company (not just fast food) is trying to be all things to all people, it’s nice to see a business built around a few simple core objectives. In this case, hamburgers. Of course for them to succeed, they need to have a really great burger. But if they can capitalise on that the way In-n-Out Burger or the Shake Shack has, they’ll be in the game for years to come.

As a designer, it’s always slightly disappointing to see a non-brand on the market. While it takes a certain skill and savvy to create a starkly plain style of art direction, I can’t help but think of it as sort of a cop-out. In this case, the starkness highlights the limited menu choices, so it works, but would a traditional logo and identity route been such a problem?

Maybe Naomi Klein was ahead of her time. Maybe No Logo is the way of branding in the future. Ironically, her book is designed in the same red and black colour scheme.

PS, if this was a subsidiary of Pepsico, it would likely have been named qtr pndr.

story and photo via Core 77 »