The Nighthawk Diner
Digital, environmental, identity, print, art direction
Image featured in branding: Dr Smooth Death
Interior architect: Herbee Gutierrez of Bates Smart
Photographer: Timothy Levy
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After five years perfecting diner-style classics with his three Nighthawk Diner vintage food trucks in Sydney, business founder and chef Alistair Fogg opened a permanent bricks and mortar establishment in Chippendale. This expansion called for a complete rebrand to support this new incarnation, one that was flexible enough to work not only on a business card but also on the side of a food truck.
Sensing the diner angle reflected more than a passion for tasty burgers, we sat down with Alistair and extracted these words that captured the essence of his inspiration: "If you have been lucky enough to experience a true diner, you know they are not just a relaxed restaurant serving burgers and fries. They are a melting pot of cultures, characters, designs and a common meeting place in most American cities and towns. Diners are incredibly varied and can serve any food the owners wish. As I discovered, the thing I love the most about the diner philosophy is that in this freedom everyone was welcome—the true egalitarian eatery."
The three food trucks are integral to the brand, with their vintage quality, quintessential to American culture and a symbol of the country's economic success in the 50-70s. Automotive elements were made to run through the brand, with each food truck given a distinct and individual treatment.
‘Queenie or Queen Latifah’, the first truck in the family, built in a Victorian Dodge factory in 1959, was previously used as an emergency extraction vehicle for pulling broken down trains. Brunswick green was the operative colour of these vehicles, and there are still green rims on the truck, a telltale sign of her former career. A similar green is also heavily featured in the Edward Hopper painting ‘Nighthawks’ which the Nighthawk Diner was named after.