We spoke to CUE Marketing’s Head of Creative Design and she delved into the creative process of Masons Branding.
“Having worked on the logo and the branding for the mighty Manchester Hall, I was delighted that Cue Marketing were asked to work on the branding for Masons Restaurant & Bar; found on the ground floor of Manchester Hall, Bridge Street, Manchester.
The Masons name was the first to be created and I took inspiration from the rich Freemason history within Manchester Hall . The name had that direct connection, Mason could represent the style of the Restaurant Bar; a fresh, contemporary venue with a preppy British style; the young blood of the more sophisticated Manchester Hall.
I wanted to keep elements of the Freemasons connection alive without it being obvious to all, I began to research much of the Freemason symbolism.
I found in a Freemasons exhibit a collection of 18th Century robes which had an interesting symbol upon the aprons displayed. It is from that symbol that the Masons logo has evolved. The intention was to also create a brand mark that would stand alone and be recognised without its full title. The design could be used as a pattern for fabric, print or interiors, and it can also be used as a single image for social media profiles or as a employee brooch, pin or tie etc.
When it came to the font, I chose Futura, as it is a font that was designed around the time that the Hall was built in 1929. By incorporating that font throughout all the branding, it gives an authentic yet still a contemporary style of graphic design. The strong geometric forms of the typeface complemented the circular brand mark in which the M for Masons sits.
When it came to the colour scheme I wanted a stronger, more defined dark blue to echo the Freemasons use of blue, but I also took some influence from the interiors that were being designed by Hala Ali at the time. Green velvet was a prominent feature and there was to be an orange l.e.d light proposed under the rim of the bar, so together with a more preppy shade of blue I had the Masons colour Palette. Blue, apple green and orange with a secondary colour of a citrus yellow.
One last element I wanted to portray further was the triangle. A symbol of importance for the Freemasons as it represents the concept of the Deity in geometrical form and of the sacred number three. I had incorporated the triangle in a design for the grills and I used this to create a brand pattern with brand colour triangles used in the menus and the cushion covers. This colourful pattern, I hoped, would break up the expanse of the green furniture. As a whole I feel that a fresh contemporary style has been delivered that also compliments the interior design.
When you ask people for their definition of Freemasons they always talk of a secret society. We wanted run with this secrecy theme. Metal grills were suggested and we used these to create a screen between the Manchester Hall reception area and the Restaurant Bar. A, to let in more light and create a feeling of space and B, people could discreetly peek into the bar to be able to see inside.
The brand-mark was then used in the designs of the grills, but this time I kept the triangle shape within the pattern design which had been seen in the original inspiration. This pattern was also used to create gold window decals on the front windows to great effect.
The brand style is now echoed in Masons Social Media and Website.”