Morada takes its name from Lilian Rice’s 1923 moniker for The Inn, meaning “house of many rooms,” and this fine dining experience resides within the fabulous Inn at Rancho Santa Fe hotel. Guests come here to enjoy locally sourced California cuisine, and while the food is superb, the atmosphere is comfortable and inviting. Morada is inspired by the property’s storied past, showcasing Rancho Santa Fe’s rich history by incorporating natural materials and equestrian elements that allude to the eucalyptus groves and the carefree elegance of the California ranch lifestyle.
Morada’s Marketing Team came to us with an existing collection of menus they thought to be fragmented and dated. They were in need of a refreshed design that would portray their upscale, family-friendly atmosphere while remaining cost effective for an ever-evolving menu. The customer needed a total of seven menus in two different sizes. After securing celebrity chef, Casey Thompson, from Top Chef as their Executive Chef, Morada hoped to completely revamp their menu design by displaying their first-rate menu items in a way that visually represented the same level of sophistication. The redesign and launch of the menu was timed to coordinate with the restaurant’s re-opening with its new chef. They wanted the new menu design to be cohesive across all menus and reflect the elegant California ranch style with an infused equestrian feel.
The A S Hospitality/Dexter Solutions Marketing Team came together to perform a variety of tasks that would ultimately lead to Morada’s branding success. During our first discovery meeting with the client, we wanted to first understand their creative vision and ask questions about menu usage and function. After this initial meeting, we dove into researching the local area as well as how to set up menu templates in Word. We wanted to create a menu design that could be easily maintained and updated as the dishes changed. Creating templates helped us ensure consistency and ease of use for our client when updating files. We used this information to develop 2 unique concepts, which were presented to the client for review. The client selected the design direction that matched the vision of the head chef and Marketing Team, and together, we refined the final menu design to best suit their creative vision and functional needs. The collection of menus was developed and implemented within budget and in time for the reopening of the restaurant. Shells were printed and sent to the Morada, as well, enabling their Marketing Team to successfully update and print their menus on-site whenever they need.
We channeled the open-armed spirit of the restaurant while drawing design inspiration from the client’s creative direction. We developed a color scheme, typography, and graphic iconography that are all creative yet easy to update as the menu evolves over time. The colors and iconography were designed to pair not only with the restaurant decor but also with the local flora and fauna. The use of eucalyptus, bees, and a riding helmet were carefully selected with this in mind, and the green and grey tones contrast the restaurant interior while pairing with the greenery outdoors.