Branding for Relais et Châteaux

Branding for Relais et Châteaux

We are very proud to announce the birth of a new brand… well, almost!
The business was founded by Marie Lorain, in the 1940s in Joigny en Bourgogne, before being taken over by her son Michel (in 1958) and then by her grandson Jean-Michel.
I first met Jean-Michel Lorain around ten years ago on when working on a project to design a carbon serving tray. Although the project fell through, I did get to spend a lot of time in their kitchens and dining room observing how their Michelin-starred team worked together, in seamless unison, during the midday and evening rush. Jean-Michel learned the basics in the family business, but then spent a number of years working for Pierre et Jean Troisgros in Roanne and for Fredy Girardet in Switzerland, two major stars of the gastronomic food world. I got to know this discreet, technically-minded chef with an eye for detail and his family much better as we worked together on a project in Bangkok last year. This year, Jean-Michel asked us to modernize and rejuvenate the family brand, La Côte Saint Jacques, which encompasses a Michelin star restaurant, a Relais & Châteaux hotel and a Spa. This establishment on the banks of the River Yonne epitomizes France’s unique “art de vivre”.
We felt that the first step was to design a brand new logo and icon. We revitalized the logo by incorporating the initials of each family member (Marie, Michel and Jean-Michel) to some of the existing features.
We then reviewed and updated all the other communication tools: letterhead, press pack, flyers… and defined a brand strategy.

Naturally, we adapted this visual identity to all the other brand components (shop and Spa), and developed a whole new range of products for the shop: chocolate bars, spreads and treats; the house speciality, the Dagmar (a small soft chocolate caramel coated with thin layer of crispy caramel), macarons and jams … Plus of course a selection of chutneys, condiments, smoked salmon, black pudding, foie gras and other Christmas goodies We also added a selection of branded products including tea towels, aprons, scented candles and shopping bags, gift-wrap and ribbons.

Of course, all the restaurant menus needed changing too, to sport this new brand identity we had developed for Jean-Michel Lorain. We therefore redesigned them all, including the wine list, Spa menu and brunch offers for introduction next year. They will feature the new logo embossed in gold on the leather cover and the menus will be printed on fine papers to match the chef’s fine seasonal gastronomic creations. That’s all for the time being, but the ‘new’ Côte Saint Jacques will have many more surprises in store for you in 2016, so…. stay tuned!