Craft cocktails are no longer reserved for the highbrow club or swanky bar. With a growing interest in fine drinks handmade by mixologists, Aramark saw an opportunity to create a cart environment that would act as a stage and elevate the beverage experience at Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Richardson Design was charged with developing an aesthetic, including all of the branding and graphic design accouterments, to support their vision.

The result was Elxxir, a mobile craft cocktail cart that redefines adult libations and effectively tells a rich brand story with all of the trappings in a compact footprint.

Setting the Mood
The purpose of the mobile cocktail cart was two-fold: to capture a growing demand for craft cocktails in stadium venues and convention centers; and to capitalize on this desire by creating a distinct experience that would drive sales and extend the convention center business to after-hours. To successfully execute the craft cocktail experience, Aramark enlisted in a known player in the mixology world, Alchemy Consulting. The Richardson Design team brought the project to life with graphic design and interior design.

The cart needed to be mobile and highly functional, yet distinguished with a sense of nostalgic permanence. It needed to be modern while capturing the mystery and lure of mixing specialty cocktails. The mixologist and alcohol are central, with brand elements supporting their craft and use of fine ingredients. Their preparation of cocktails and interaction with guests creates an in-the-moment experience. The stage—the Elxxir cart—had to support this multi-faceted brand story.

Defining Craft Cocktails
The initial branding process began with naming. After exploring multiple naming avenues and creating a persona for the craft cocktail cart, the name Elxxir was selected. Elxxir speaks to the expert mixology and sophisticated mood. The name is also clean and modern, a graphic focal point of the cart. The font overtly aligns with the cart’s interior design style cues—a moody, art deco, fresh feel. The Xs offer a sense of exclusiveness to the completely accessible beverage experience. Overall, graphic design elements drafted off of the aesthetic of the stand to tell a cohesive story.

The Garnish
Details are what make the craft cocktail—fresh ingredients, technique of mixologists, presentation of libations. In keeping with this, Richardson identified guest touchpoints and provided direction on how those moments could be elevated as an Elxxir experience. Every detail matters, particularly when there is not the luxury of thousands of square feet of space to tell a brand story. With 50 square feet of physical space to communicate what Elxxir means, each touchpoint mindfully delivers a deep impression to relay the craft cocktail story.

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