Ollie's Pizza is a restaurant that serves wood fired pizza, natural wines and local beers in a renovated 1850's barn located in High Falls, NY.
My main focus was to mirror the quality food but fun vibe of Ollie's.
Our brand character "Tosti" is inspired by the Forza Forni Italian made wood fired pizza oven at Ollie's, one of the first things in the building during the renovation.
The mascot's facial features are very crucial when I build a brand character.
Tosti's face was made with kind round eyes evoking a sense of innocence, honesty, an openness.
For Tosti I made his pupils looking directly at the viewer, eye contact is crucial with certain mascots, I wanted that direct eye contact with Tosti.
Accompanied with a subtle but friendly smile showing this brand mascot to patrons that Ollie's Pizza is a fun, warm, and inviting place, letting the excellent food speak for itself. The smile's line work in a subtle manner as they visually rhyme with neighboring brick lines.
Character's Line of Action:
Tosti's line of action is specifically designed to make the eye bounce from the pizza, to a kind friendly face to a peace sign. Then the crook of the line's path within Tosti's elbow bounces the viewer's gaze back to the eyes and smiling face then back to the pizza, and again. These millisecond eye movements matter extremely to a mascot's design.
I used a tapered brush line referencing classic cartoon quality with a focus on negative space for a fun, light, and modern feel. The character's limbs were designed wider and heavier to reference and support the weight of the oven, it's limbs kept simple to help the mascot's oven body read faster. Tosti's billowing chef's hat doubles as a reference to the smoke from the oven.
A custom script logo was created referencing the namesakes within classic New York City Pizzeria signage. Over the many trials I wanted some level of fun as well as a clean script. I made the letters bold and weighted to marry the font we designed for Ollie's...
From the word PIZZA in the logo to the exterior restaurant vertical signage, sections on the menu to in-house signage usage, I created a custom font to go along with the script logo for Ollie's
Located in High Falls, in beautiful upstate New York we wanted to pay homage to the area. Inspiration came from an old postcard of the area's Rondout Creek. Waterfalls are nice but Pizzafalls?!
I really couldn't stop laughing while drawing this.
Merchandise is great and fun to have for a business. However I also strongly believe in having things that can be given to the patron's for free, especially something they can enjoy.
We have postcards, but I wanted to do more so I designed an activity sheet for the kids (and adults!) to work on in between their bites of pizza.
This act of giving is not only fun and sweet, but build's up a brand's loyalty.
I believe one of the reasons Ollie's does well is how much they appreciate their staff. We designed and printed custom hoodies for holiday gifts made just for the amazing staff at Ollie's.
Read more about Ollie's in the article "Ollie's Pizza and the Wild Ride of Opening in a Pandemic" in La Cucina Italiana