Lil' Sweet Chick Makes Fried Chicken And Spreads Love, Brooklyn Style
by Rudy Sanchez on 10/27/2020 | 4 Minute Read
Fried chicken is one of the most popular types of food, and regional varieties exist all over the world, such as Korean dakgangjeong, or Italian pollo fritto. But maybe none quite captivates as much as American Southern-style fried chicken, with fast-food empires such as KFC representing the fare across the globe. Rival Chik-fil-A has also inspired legions of devoted fans, drawn in by the succulent pressure-fried chicken and focus on customer satisfaction dressed up as quaint southern hospitality with a side of homophobia.
Surely there must be a way to enjoy Southern-style fried chicken without all that bigotry because frankly, there isn’t enough sweet tea in Georgia to make that kind of hate go down easy.
That is the thinking that led to Sweet Chick, a Brooklyn restaurant founded in 2013, to see a need for traditional and contemporary American and Southern cuisine served up with a genuine warmth for guests of all stripes. The eatery eventually caught the attention of hip-hop legend Nas, himself a Brooklynite hailing from Crown Heights, helping the restaurant evolve and extend the concept into the fast-casual space with Lil’ Sweet Chick.
NYC-based studio Saint Urbain was brought in to give Lil’ Sweet Chick its own brand and visual identity, keeping true to the founding principles while appealing to a diverse consumer base surrounding its Brooklyn, Lower East Side, and Fairfax, Los Angeles locations.
“[Sweet Chick] wanted something buzzy, cool, modern, and family-friendly," said Alex Ostroff, founder and creative director of Saint Urbain. "Not just the typical families you see on TV. The ones you actually see in cities: gay, interracial, and young with tattoos.
With a mandate to maintain the mission of “spreading love the Brooklyn way," Saint Urbain went to work straight away on a critical foundation of the brand’s visual identity - the wordmark. Drawing inspiration from the rooster and 70s funk, the wordmark is big, bold, and fun. It allows Sweet Chick to be casual and inviting and work in a variety of use cases, such as signage and social media.
“It’s a vintage-inspired chunky logo that’s part 1970’s, part 2020, part sign-painting and full chicken. If you look closely at it, it’s inspired by the comb and wattle of a chicken. There’s also an egg,” Alex explains.
Red and white is a familiar colorway for fast/fast-casual brands, especially among fried chicken brands, a fact not lost on Ostroff. The combination works for Sweet Chick as well, and Saint Urbain balances it with other, pastel-based, secondary palettes.
Saint Urbain also needed to create a mascot, a crucial element for any fast-casual eatery. The agency decided to anthropomorphize an egg, imbuing it with funk and flair that’s true to the Sweet Chick brand and its hip-hop ties. “Eggbert” has a casual lean to him, a chill vibe that dudes you say “what up?” to on the street always seem to have.
“We loved creating and naming the Lil’ Sweet Chick mascot, Eggbert. A hip egg with wings, beak, dad-hat, and oversized boots,” Alex says.
For Alex, the Lil’ Sweet Chick project had a significant personal connection. Nas’ seminal work, Illmatic, was a significant album for him coming up, so much so that his ringtone was the beginning of the track "It Ain't Hard to Tell." For the kids reading this, people used to customize their cellphone’s ringtone, and it was a form of self-expression to the world, right up there with who was in your top eight on Myspace (which is another conversation entirely).
“I’ve been a huge fan of since my cousin gave me his CD in the late 90s. He mentioned Sweet Chick in a verse the other day in a video that featured my logo, and I was extremely happy,” Ostroff said.
“It was also fun to present the work,” he added. “Our clients were overjoyed, which is a great feeling.”
- Designed By: Saint Urbain