The goal of rebranding Coastal Cantina was to highlight the restaurant in a way that is memorable and speaks directly to the San Diego twist on Baja Cuisine. Combining the serape vibe and the unique oceanside vibe of San Diego’s rich Mexican influence was at the forefront of our rebranding efforts.
GASLAMP DISTRICT HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:
In 1867 Alonzo Horton, known as the father of downtown, purchased several hundred acres of waterfront property. He built a wharf at the end of 5th Avenue and began to develop what was called “New Town”. Within a few years, the area began to thrive. In contrast to the much older original Spanish settlement of “Old Town”, in “New Town” the city installed about 50 Gas Lamp Street lights to light up this new modern part of the town. The name “New Town” was lost over the years as the rest of the city grew but with great insight, the city kept the Victorian feel for most of this area, including the design of the signature Gas Lamp Street lights, hence giving the area its name.
Specifically 431 E Street, a 3,000 square-foot space, has housed a couple different mexican style restaurants over the years. Most recently Los Panchos de Charly run by Luis & Veronica Diaz. Before the Diazs’ Los Panchos Mexican Grill & Cantina was owned and ran by Carlos Diaz-Ochoa. Coastal Cantina was launched and run by Rick and Estela Borba, of Gaslamp Tavern beginning in August of 2020. Realizing the great potential and significance of 431 E Street, Brent and Florence Yssel, took over operations in fall of 2021. Their rebranding efforts began in Spring of 2022 with hiring local San Diegan Jen Cloes Designs to collaborate in highlighting the two powerful influences of San Diego and Baja. Together they utilized serape inspired typography and created a brand identity that is festive and indicative of a San Diego sunset.
Coastal Cantina’s rebrand pushed into the playful and festive gap in the current mexican Gaslamp District Restaurant market. The branding highlights the exclusive intersectional influence between Baja Mexico and California that is unique to San Diego.
Highlighting the two powerful influences of San Diego and Baja the final Coastal Cantina mark is festive and playful. The final mark accentuates the proximity of the Pacific Ocean represented by the blue wave. The serape influenced typography represents Baja while paired with the lime wedge sun and tortilla chip rays representative of a San Diego sunset. The “i” in Cantina carries over the consistency of the brand mark by utilizing the lime wedge as its tittle.
Jen Cloes Designs created the Coastal Cantina typeface was specifically to indicate the serape style. It was based on Bodega Sans and stylized for Coastal Cantina’s logotype andheadings. It should be used sparingly among brand assets. It is a festive typeface and can easily overwhelm legibility. It is an Open Type-SVG color font. The black typeface is also an Open Type SVG font format. The black typeface has an added 1pt. stroke in order to help with legibility.