Paco's Caliente Cafe

The brief

Paco’s is a concept project for an upscale Mexican restaurant in Fort Worth, TX. They have a big goal for a new restaurant in the area: to be known not only for delicious, gourmet Mexican food and a world class bar showcasing fine, top-shelf cocktails, but also as a destination for local elite to see and be seen. This goal calls for a brand that communicates the style of food, but is also suitable for a high class brand.


For Paco’s, I was looking to strike a balance between classy and classic. I wanted the logo and colors to speak the language of Mexican culture while not swinging too far into the kitsch that is often found in casual dining restaurants. 

For inspiration, I found myself looking to the shapes and colors of ancient Aztec art. I was particularly drawn to the rounded, medallion shapes and square tiled looks. For color, I was definitely looking to steer clear of the primary red, yellow, and Kelly green that is so often used in more casual Mexican restaurants and instead went for Earthy jewel tones and gold.

I loved the idea of using the “P” as a sub-mark of the overall rounded logo, so I played around with sketching the letter in different stylized forms, eventually landing on this version. The spiral on the bottom complements the other rounded elements and it’s a great, unique mark that isn’t easily copied or duplicated. It definitely creates a unique identity.

Strategy was not part of this project, but this is a rare occasion where I would have recommended a traditional direct mail campaign alongside a PR campaign and comprehensive social media strategy. Because of Paco’s goal of being a destination for the wealthy and well-known, I would recommend a highly targeted list of wealthy households, local business owners, and local celebrities. I would recommend that mailer be somewhat personalized, perhaps even using an invitation to opening night inside a hand-addressed envelope. A PR campaign with local food critics and influencers would also be high priority. On social media, Instagram would be an ideal platform for this restaurant, but subtlety is key. Big, loud signs encouraging people to post and hashtag would not be on-brand. Rather, I would encourage them to play up natural opportunities for social sharing with attractive cocktails, plating, and decor.