With Wren, the restaurant and bar at The Watermark Hotel in Tysons, VA, function and form united to create a brand that connected with the experience and atmosphere of the hotel while establishing a personality that remained truly distinct. The Red Thinking team worked hard to craft Wren’s story and brand to artfully balance sophistication with approachability, like the food at Wren balances traditional Japanese street food with modern American cuisine.
Wren’s story started with it’s name. Not only does Wren mean “love” in Japanese, connecting the name to the Japanese fusion style of Wren’s menu, the name goes one step further and is also a nod to the restaurant’s close neighbor, The Perch, a sprawling outdoor green space more than 10 stories above street level. The bird, “wrens,” are known as social birds that prefer to spend their lives with one another, and that sense of camaraderie was essential to what the team wanted to bring to this dining experience.
Recipe Card + Event Collateral
Large-Scale Directional Signage
Strong bold lines are featured prominently in both traditional Japanese and art deco styles, which gave clear direction to the greater design approach in Wren’s branding as well as the Wren logo itself. The birds in the Wren logo are connected, joining them together at their tails, and reinforcing the message behind Wren’s name. From the typography to the brand colors, Wren is markedly unique, but elements of Wren’s branding strategically tie into The Watermark’s branding to ensure both worked well together within the same creative and to emphasize that the two are inextricably linked. After all, Wren is the centerpiece and social hub of The Watermark Hotel.
“Red Thinking was able to quickly and fully understand the vision for Wren. From concept to execution, the team delivered and then some every step of the way. Some examples: Red Thinking proposed the perfect name in their first round of naming suggestions, and our team ended up using all of their menu designs “options” because we simply couldn’t pick a favorite. The Red Thinking team truly played an integral role in bringing Wren to life.”
– Osman Cuadros, General Manager
In both real-life experience and through the branding that Red Thinking developed, it’s clear to see Wren’s characteristically warm and friendly energy is equally matched by its effortlessly cool spirit. It is sure to be the perfect destination to gather, settle in and get comfortable, just as the tradition of izakaya suggests and maybe even like wrens coming home to the nest.
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