PAO Detroit is an upscale Asian Fusion lounge and restaurant located in the historic Michigan Oriental Theater. The concept offers Pan-Asian cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, wine and champagne set in a trendy, supper-club style atmosphere. The word ‘PAO’ means to escape.

The Ask

To create an iconic, upscale, architecturally-inspired brand identity.

Thereafter, we were to execute a comprehensive brand launch including print, digital, social and environmental design, as well as awareness campaigns.

The Outcome

Inspired by the beautiful architectural details, we used linear and circular qualities from the original space to create a custom maze logo mark. The maze solution connotes the concept of “escaping” – to escape to an entirely new space unparalleled to any other experience in Detroit. The visual brand embodies the unique and sophisticated space.

Project Type

Brand Identity & Management / Brand Collateral / Social Media

During our research and ideation phase, we dove into the rich history of the Michigan Oriental Theater, as well as Asian culture, history and iconography. The English translation of “Pao” is “to run” or “to escape” – this particular detail was compelling since the restaurant itself strives to be a place where guests can escape from the real world and gave us a visual cue to explore. PAO offers an immersive experience from the amazing ambiance to the culinary excellence and handcrafted cocktails, making it easy for people to escape the mundane.

We created a custom rectangular maze that is used around the type “PAO”. We kept this maze minimal in form so that it would not distract from the name. This lockup serves as the primary logotype. We also created a more detailed circular maze that is used as a fun visual element throughout the branding itself and in small applications such as social media profile assets. We chose a modern geometric typeface and set it in all uppercase for a clean, bold look. This can be used as a secondary logo.

“It’s Confidential” was an event named and designed by us as a way to promote PAO’s recent launch, hosted by the well known Detroiter, George the Jeweler.

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