If you watch Mad Men, or any Super Bowl halftime show, you'll know that advertising can be a lot harder than it looks. You have to capture the essence of what you're marketing, be artistic and creative and sometimes even innovative, and–perhaps most importantly–not piss too many people off in the process. Sometimes this works on the first shot, sometimes it take a few tries. As an example of the latter, the folks at Red Medicine, the new Vietnamese restaurant set to open in Beverly Hills in about a month, are redesigning their logo, which had featured a graphic portrait of Ho Chi Minh over an industrial skyline and under the words “Lao Động. Hạnh Phúc. Ấm No.” (Which means, according to a reliable source: “To work. Happiness. Warmth from being fed.” Thank you, reliable source.)
We emailed owner Adam Fleischman about it this morning, after checking out some of the comments on our recent Red Medicine post, and he confirmed that the logo is being reworked and that the redesign should be out soon. Fleischman said he hasn't gotten any comments about the logo himself, but that they are redesigning the logo “because we don't want to offend unintentionally. It's all about the food at this restaurant.”
The name and the concept for the restaurant are, as Fleischman characterized them, “punk Vietnamese,” in reference to the Fugazi album of the same name. “We are not seriously taking a political position–it is a METAPHOR for our restaurant,” emailed Fleischman, who also said that there was no particular backstory for the logo (“None. Our logo designer came up with it”) and that they do not have a Vietnamese consultant for the project. All of this comes under the heading: Department of Restaurant Political Clarification. And we'd ask the same questions if somebody decided to open a borscht café with a pretty picture of Stalin painted on the front door too. Just for the record.
Red Medicine: Red Medicine: 8400 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills; (323) 651-5500.