Thomas Straker | Dooka Design Diaries

February 10, 2022

Admittedly, as fanboys of Thomas Straker and his incredible cooking prowess, we aspired to work with him as he transitioned from a traditional restaurant chef to a food celebrity. His background and experience granted him fairly instantaneous social notoriety as he moved into a public facing position with partners MOB kitchen. Following a year in the limelight, Tom saw the inherent value of creating a personal brand that would allow him to develop more brand relationships and partnerships.

Personal brands have a different approach to commercial clients. The brand needs to represent the idealistic goals of the individual, their unique personality and stance. Tom isn’t your typical chef. High intensity work environments, like kitchens, inevitably breed high stress scenarios. Famous television chefs such as Gordon Ramsey have perpetuated the persona of “the angry chef”; that’s not Thomas Straker. Tom’s approachable nature meant his brand could be dynamic, fun, exciting and ultimately cool.

A driving factor of the overall output of the brand was the convivial nature that food facilitates. The tone is communal, conversational and casual. It’s a dinner party with old friends where placement and positioning are not so regimented but it all adds to the emotion and spontaneity of this perfectly relaxed atmosphere. This impacts the copy and output of the brand at every level.

The Thomas Straker brand ultimately communicates the importance of education in produce, preparation and technique. This reflects an attention to detail and commitment to quality throughout. With an ethos of simplicity, it isn’t about over complicated processes, it’s about doing the important things right. Therefore it was important that the brand aesthetic had an air of modern classicism, simple yet considered.

Tom’s approach to food focuses around the importance of seasonal produce and champions responsible farming practices. Therefore it was imperative that the brand felt natural. Highlighting the intrinsic imperfections of organic produce tied Tom’s brand to the origins of food. Following exploration, the best way we saw to articulate this was through the application of texture to a manual typeface evoking emotions of the countryside and farm graft.

To compliment the minimalist wordmark and conversational copy, we developed a versatile visual system that could be used to encompass a wide range of produce. Combining single line, abstract interpretations of food with the brand’s vibrant colour palette encapsulated Tom’s cultured personality and his simple approach to food.

Once completed the brand was consolidated into a conclusive pitch document for external orientation highlighting the necessity for consistency with Tom’s values and aspirations. The identity has been applied to a wide range of digital and physical touch points including a website, menus, stationary, merchandise and even an opening title sequence for his cooking show “Tasty Business”. With aspirations for the release of his first book, the Thomas Straker brand will grow from this point.

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