Back to Work

Kerbey Lane


More Info +


Custom Typography
Social Content Creation
Logos, Iconography & Illustration


Creative Direction: Christian Helms
Design Team: Greg Thomas, Nicole Oesterreicher, Kayla Dockery
Brand Management: Laura Jankovsky, Caroline Kirby
Copywriting: Christian Helms, Andy Ogburn
Photography: Emily Golding

Taking Back Weird.

There’s a difference between a good diner and a great diner.

Sure, a good diner has that ‘greasy spoon’ allure and an enormous menu of night-and-day staples. It may even have that stainless steel siding famous at roadside stops. But a great diner has a deeper character that can only be forged with time and devotion to a community. So when family-owned Kerbey Lane, the premier diner in Austin for over 40 years, came to us with eyes toward a rebrand, we licked our lips and jumped at the chance to work with a great team — and one of the few great diners.

You see, Kerbey Lane has witnessed firsthand all the change that’s occurred in Austin — and happened to Austin — for the last four decades. From a small college town, to “Keep Austin Weird”, to the ongoing Silicon Hills tech boom. And even with new skyscraper shadows on the river every month, Kerbey Lane has thrived through it all, proving to be Austin’s lifelong go-to for kids and college kids and kids-at-heart.

Why? Because they’ve got that mythical character most brands can only dream of. Since the start, they’ve embraced ‘weird’ in everything they do: treating customers and staff alike like family and celebrating individuality with off-the-wall uniform flair and creative menu twists like cinnamon roll pancakes. Plus, they even sent their queso into outer space. No joke.

Plenty of other restaurants have tried to counterfeit this one-of-a-kind character overnight — blandly trying to reheat Austin’s soul and slapping “Keep Austin Weird” on the side of the building.

But our work for Kerbey Lane aims to stake a claim on the real, wild, wonderful, and, yes, weird Austin. To give it an embrace as warm as a stack of cinnamon roll pancakes, and to share the whole meal with anyone and everyone who walks in.

Take It Over Easy

For this dream project, we wanted to take the story and the truth about Kerbey Lane’s past and celebrate it in the present.Their lovely team shared our appetite to go off-the-wall with this one.

So whether it meant illustrating astronauts eating queso, or a waffle with PF Flyers on, we injected their true personality into every touchpoint. Our writing approach was simple, yet distinct. Who better to act as our muse than Yogi Berra: a friendly, classic voice known by all that’s equal parts hippie and quippy.

Together, the redesign work gives the restaurant a bright, cohesive look that makes it feel even more like Kerbey Lane than it’s ever felt. And it’s ready to welcome you with open arms almost anytime of day.

Helms Workshop®