K Street Revival

By: Robert

You can’t say ‘restaurant’ in Sacramento without saying Paragary’s. The two have gone hand in hand for longer than I have been alive, and Paragary’s Restaurant Group (PRG) latest foray into the restaurant business is simply swinging!

I am not talking about the food, Paragary’s seldom misses on that mark, what I am talking about is the identity. The logo. Paragary’s has created a modern day “Rat Pack” feel right in the heart of Sacramento.

Bottom line, Cosmo is cool! Without even setting a foot through its doors I already have a solid feeling of what kind of place it is. It is hip, swingin’, and a place that respects history, and I am guessing a place with one hell of a martini. The modern twist on the retro look and feel tells me I am in for a treat!
But what is it that makes Cosmo so cool? The answer, LOTS!

To start colors of the logo are very gender neutral and bring to mind a relaxed, yet lively environment where everyone in the room has something interesting to say, and they are all interested in you! The palette also gives a great feeling of depth. Using just two colors and various tints and shades they have created a feeling of space and movement. The subtle change and movement is reminiscent of a bar with patrons moving back and forth, bumping into one another stating conversations, grabbing another drink, making connections…

I also have to applaud the designer for NOT using a color palette influenced by a drink of the same name. If they had, the logo may have looked something like this…

Not quite the same. The pink is trying too hard. It screams, and is more suited to a crowd not quite old enough to drink. Whereas the current palette tells the viewer, “Hey Capitol crowd, come hang out, its cool…”, and cool it is!

But color isn’t the only thing this logo has going for it. The typeface is clean, simple, and very representative of the urban setting in which the cafe resides. The typeface is just at home in Sacramento as in mid-twentieth century New York. It is strong, smooth and confident, like an old crooner walking into a swanky joint and ordering an ice cold martini.

Finally the square elements of the logo add another layer of meaning. The shapes are fun and improvisational, and being so simple they are also open to interpretation. Are they the city blocks? Are they the tables of a cafe pushed together to accommodate a larger group of friends meeting for a cocktail and apps? Are they the tiles that you walk on as you cruise around the bar mingling with the coolest cats in Sacramento? Who knows? Make up your own mind.

In the end the identity (read: logo) is successful. It conveys the ambiance of the cafe, gives us a sense of what we should expect upon walking in, and excites through its visual stimulus. Something is happening at Cosmo and we need to experience it.

Would I have done anything different if I had been the designer, maybe, but not much. The color palette has a bit of a retro feel yet maintains a fun and refreshing vibe. The typeface is beautiful, simple, clean, and has a great sense of purpose behind it.