Branding & Graphic Design in Toronto for Dreyfus
Dreyfus is a contemporary French restaurant and natural wine bar in Toronto, Canada. Named after Alfred Dreyfus, a French-Jewish artillery officer from the 1800s whose trial and false conviction is one of the most polarizing events in modern French history. Run by chef Zach Kolemeir, Dreyfus defines its cuisine as French-ish and made with love. Working closely with ownership, we were tasked with creating a brand identity that represented the restaurant’s esoteric style of cooking and its refined nonchalance, while also incorporating the historical significance of its namesake.
Through a series of in-depth client Q&As, we realized the importance of honoring Commander Dreyfus by reclaiming and satirizing the antisemitic propaganda that was levelled against him with a certain joie de vivre brought out through whimsical illustration. The Dreyfus identity is decidedly old-world but devoid of austerity. A brand for the man (or woman) about town, the Dreyfus identity was designed to feel sophisticated and sartorial.
MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
No obvious signage, curtains drawn and the front door frosted top to bottom. What could this cozy French bistro be hiding? The answer is indulgence. Situated on the first floor of a narrow townhouse, Dreyfus is the kind of dinner you have before hibernation and after an annual physical. Rare (and sadly empty) trophy wines line the room’s perimeter, while servers explain that the fries are for the pâté and that the doughnuts are for the smoked trout dip garnished with roe. That Zach Kolomeir cooks with maximum impact shouldn’t be a shock given his tenure at Montreal’s famed Joe Beef. Sitting elbow to elbow, oenophiles looking for primo vino will have to ask for off-menu bottles, some of which sit in plain sight above the bar.