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Crif Dogs Expresses New York's Unique Spirit

by Chloe Gordon on 02/24/2022 | 2 Minute Read

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New York is a city of now. This moment. It’s irreverent, energetic, iconoclastic, with a phoenix-like knack for re-invention. It’s true of the city, and it’s the truth of Crif Dogs. A beloved neighborhood hot dog spot by day, gateway to legendary speakeasy PDT by night. A menu as varied as the clientele— and just as transient. Get ‘em while they’re hot because the next big flavor is already on the way. But this was a side they didn’t celebrate - while their business had grown up, their brand hadn’t; it was stuck in old bro-tropes and tired gags. Crif Dogs was a brand in crisis and in danger of becoming dated, tasteless, irrelevant - it was time to show their evolutionary spirit. And do it NYC style.

To express Crif’s true New York spirit, the city becomes the canvas. Our new visual identity and brand film is a mixture of evocative street photography, iconic faces and places, capturing the brand’s irreverent nature. And a unique voice with plenty to say.

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We sharpened Crif’s essence by maturing the creative expression, summing up that irreverent spirit with the tagline: Crif Dogs is “frankly” the best. Taking inspiration from NYC signage, from hotdog carts to bodegas throughout the Lower East Side, the logo marks remain true to Crif’s playful roots through the mustard yellow and ketchup red doodling, but with a contemporary edge fit for a more grown-up audience.

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It’s an identity that is designed to change, surprise and invent. To subvert the obvious by juxtaposing the unexpected. A brand that reflects New York City as it truly is — in a constant, playful state of flux. Because New York doesn’t die. And whatever defines your era of NYC— from punk to pride to the pandemic — it will always be "Frankly "the best.

Jeff Bell, Owner & Operator said of the redesign: "They went deeper than I thought would even be necessary to understand the DNA of the brand to reimagine it, but still remaining true to its New York City roots, I provided too much info and they were able to mine the important gems. Our new branding is perfectly on brand, but in no way that I ever could've imagined."

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  • Designed By: Design Bridge
  • Creative Director:: Mike Perry
  • Design Director:: Marlee Bruning
  • Senior Designer:: Jacklyn Munck
  • Senior Designer:: Katie Hasler
  • Design Director:: Gregor Johnstone
  • Motion Director:: James Morgan
  • Snr Client Manager:: Shang Wu
  • Client Manager:: Sage Lau
  • Associate Strategy Director:: Alice Clapp
  • Visualization:: Nina Marie Girod
  • Typography:: Rob Clarke
  • Illustrator:: Jacklyn Munck
  • Photographer:: Cody Hoerauf
  • Videographer:: Khyber Jones

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