Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When Good Decor Goes Bad

I just came back from a fabulous referral networking breakfast held at a newly removed King's restaurant. To give a quick plug, check out the the Sewickley Professional Referral Exchange here:

On with setting the scene for the rant... Kudos to Kings for the update to their identity and dining experience. Where I grew up near Somerset, PA, Kings was the place to go (2nd to Eat'nPark, of course) and I remember enjoying many-a Roast Beef/Meatloaf Sandwiches smothered in gravy growing up. The dining experience back in those days was country-style family (aka: one huge senior citizen stopping ground), but I enjoyed it for what it was nevertheless.

If you haven't been to a remodeled one recently, it's worth a visit. For better or for worse, they've aligned themselves to be more like Eat'nPark, but it's a lovely bright lit, colorful environment with trendy/tasteful decor and furnishings.

Now for the rant portion... I faced this wall (below) for the entire referral meeting and kept being drawn in (not in a good way) by the use of typography for decoration sake. It looks like the type solution addressed the initial problem of 'Flour' being too long for the allotted box -- see far left block. That kind works and I've liked that approach on other designerly/decorative promotion pieces like posters, postcards and/or book covers.

The problem is the execution throughout the rest of the decor panel. I'm all for consistency, but the 'Milk' block is the one that kept catching my eye as a distraction; its short enough to FIT in the box?! Decor is supposed to be decor -- creating an atmosphere, an experience --  not attention grabbing and memorable (in a negative way) like it was for me. Maybe it's because I'm a designer, but I think my background/sensibility just gives me the ability to understand and translate what other people notice on a subconscious level.

I'm not going to even address the tension created by the type placed up against the borders or that the 'x' height alternates outside of the box (either the bottom 1/4 or top 1/4 is cropped-off). In short, for this huge panel... Boo, Kings... boo:P

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