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laBar is an upscale bar planned to open in the spring of 2011, in the Midtown area of St. Louis. They came to me to create the entire package, from identity to website, and I was thrilled to be a part of it. I always say it, but it's such a treat to work with people who not only appreciate good design, but enjoy seeking it. That made this an incredibly enjoyable process all of the way through.

In creating this identity, the only guideline was that the 'la' should stand out from 'bar', and based on a slick, modern wallpaper I had seen (and envisioned in the bar itself) I started sketching ideas for this petal. I wanted the petal to be very multi-purpose, usable with or without the text, and so I landed on what is basically a square with two opposite rounded corners. The fact that it's a square makes it lend itself well to patterns, and the plan is to work it into the decor of the bar.

Since the bar isn't open yet, the plan was to create a password-protected version of what the website would be like once the bar was open, as a selling tool for investors. Business cards, stationary, and etc have been created as well so that instead of getting an idea on paper, potential investors get to experience everything but the bar itself. Plus, once the bar opens, everything is already finished and ready to go with just an update of content.

As for the mechanics of the site, it was done entirely in Flash, as is common with bars and restaurants, to allow for a feeling of excitement and drama. I also added in this horizontally scrolling content area, which the user can simply click and drag to navigate. Because it works effortlessly, it adds some fun and makes visiting this site a memorable experience. There's also a slick text-as-graphics animated intro movie using the same descriptive 'la' words found in the site's navigation.

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Because I really dig the intro music, I included a sample of it here. Once you're inside the site, there is a basic music player in the corner that has three different selections as background music to help set the mood. These were intended to be the type of music you might hear upon stepping inside laBar... just another level of bringing the experience to the user.

Since the bar isn't actually open yet, the site remains password protected. Sorry.

Currently, we're working with David Arquette and Ben Harper's clothing line, Propr, to create the apparel for laBar, which is a really great experience. I will undoubtedly be adding those to this post once they're complete.

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