Starbird Chicken

America has a long-standing love affair with our fast food. Channeling the joy and nostalgia of a bygone era, Starbird is reinventing both fried chicken and the modern dining experience.


The Culinary Edge, a San Francisco based food strategy firm, approached Strohl in 2015 with a new concept for a fried chicken chain restaurant where the food is both healthier and sustainably raised (not to mention super tasty). Building off their initial vision, we embarked on a series of workshops and strategy sessions to position them within the marketplace— seeking opportunities to bring this unique vision to life.

The resulting brand identity straddles a fine line between a clean, modern aesthetic and a fun, approachable experience. We covered multiple touch points from strategy, brand identity creation, mobile design, online and in-restaurant ordering, signage and environmental graphics, packaging, uniforms, various collateral, menus, as well as continued support on all new locations and their continued expansion. With a first location now open in Sunnyvale, California and three more on the way in the coming year, you can expect big things from this little chick.


Brand Strategy & Positioning, Brand Identity, Packaging, Signage, Environmental Graphics, Website, App Design, Direction Setting, Tone of Voice, Messaging, Uniforms, Digital Menu Boards, Print Collateral


The Culinary Edge, San Francisco, CA


Architecture: Zero Ten Design
Food Photography: Scott Peterson
Lifestyle Photography: Cynthia Linh
Website development: Bryant Chou

The in-restaurant experience is bright and nostalgic, utilizing the Starbird signature stripe pattern on tray liners and custom straws. Wait, do I see tater tots?!

The physical presence of the building, as well as the signage, play a major roll in the initial brand experience. With the flagship location built from a former Pizza Hut, the new design used a facade of wooden pickets to reinvent the infamous “hat” roof. Complimenting this high level of finish, our signage is crafted from dimensional aluminum, lit from within.

The Starbird brand identity was created with the intention of cutting through the visual clutter found in the world of traditional fast food. The resulting mark communicates a bold freshness, combining the simplest forms of a chicken and egg (the latter as a nod to their breakfast offerings). Accompanying typography is clean and direct, matching the optical weight of the mark, while still having enough character to be distinct on its own.

A key differentiator of the Starbird restaurant model is its technology-based ordering—featuring online, mobile and in-store menu screens. Simplicity and ease of use feature prominently into our design approach.

Curbside delivery is a key component of the service experience. Food ordered before hand is delivered to your parking spot labeled with bright yellow supergraphic numerals. Takeaway packaging carries the same less-is-more aesthetic while still remaining iconic.

An internally illuminated roadside monument stands out on an otherwise busy commercial street.

From interior graphics to employee uniforms, the design holds true to the philosophy that all elements should seamlessly integrate with one another.

Large digital menu boards automatically transition during the day from breakfast to dinner, and tie into the mobile and online NCR systems. Heroic, silhouetted food photography is larger than life, presenting customers with a desirable, and realistic image of what they’ll be consuming.

The consumer facing website features the brand story, menu and locations, along with a customized online ordering system.

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