If you’ve walked through the halls of the NAIT Activities Centre, or through the parking lot North of the NAIT LRT station recently, you may have noticed the campus bar looks slightly different.
A keen observer (or a NAIT graphic design student) might have identified that a new logo now marks the Nest Eatery’s exterior. They may have even wondered if the restaurant has recently – heaven forbid – changed ownership. Don’t worry, the new logo is just the first part of a re-energized brand update that will mark the start of the next chapter of Edmonton’s best campus bar.
The Nest Taphouse Grill, as it was formerly known, has proudly been a part of the NAIT campus since 1988, as a place for students, staff and faculty to hang out and enjoy a meal or watch the game. Operated and maintained by the NAIT Students’ Association (NAITSA), the Nest interior front of the house underwent a significant renovation in 2012. Although closed due to COVID-19 for the 2020/2021 academic year, the management and NAITSA’s marketing team have been working behind the scenes to rebrand the restaurant as Nest Eatery in preparation for its eventual safe grand re-opening.
The new logo is the work of Riva Augustin, NAITSA’s junior graphic designer, who has provided some insight on her rationale for the new design. Aside from wanting a new and modern style for the logo that represents Nest eatery’s fun and welcoming brand personality, Augustin worked closely with Nest’s manager Michelle Dirksen to address concerns that many students didn’t realize Nest’s association with its parent association NAITSA. To create that connection, the new logo uses only lowercase letters, but with a more rounded letterform to reference the more casual look and feel of the Nest Eatery lounge atmosphere.
Also wishing to pay tribute to Nest’s history, the stylized ‘N’ extension on the old logo was kept, albeit simplified and balanced with the rest of the letters. Used at the start of a wordmark version, this new ‘N’ is also the defining character of the symbol version as well. Augustin says of the symbol version, “Instead of a full circle enclosing the ‘N’, I’ve left it open to let the ‘N’ breathe. Visually, it’s similar to opening up your door or space to let people in – a welcoming gesture.”
Augustin’s attention to detail has cleverly used that symbolism not only to signify a very important part of Nest Eatery’s customer service promise but also to create a subconscious connection to its patron. Graphically, the circle also resembles the condensation ring that a cold glass of beer might leave behind on a coaster, which is enough to make a person thirsty just thinking about it!
The new Nest logo really captures the spirit of NAIT students who enjoy the space as a place to relax and make memories while at school, and thanks to the hard work of its staff will continue to be a place of fun, food, safety, and entertainment. Now, with a logo that feels just as new as the freshmen in September!