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A Place at the Table Cafe Rebranding

Case Study

How do you communicate a nonprofit's mission while functioning as a full-service restaurant to patrons? 



Unify and organize brand assets to be easily reproducible. Communicate to stakeholders the nonprofit's mission and values using an understated design language. Distinguish the cafe's storefront from other businesses in the area. 


Redesigned the cafe's brand identity so that it works well on small and large applications. Created a brand styleguide for partners to maintain brand standards. Created outdoor signage to mark a sense of place during COVID-19 dining restrictions. Awarded a 2020 Davey Silver Award for brand design.


Brand Strategy


Identity System Design

Editorial Design

Environmental Design


A Place at the Table opened in 2015 with a mission to provide community and good food to all, regardless of mean.


A Place at the Table is a nonprofit pay-what-you-can cafe located in Raleigh, North Carolina. In its first two years of operation, the restaurant has gained national attention for its innovative business model and has provided over 60,000+ meals to people in need. As part of a renovation plan, Sababa Design led a rebranding effort to align the cafe’s visual identity, brand assets, and interior design to promote its mission, core values, and the brand’s story.


We created a new typographic-centric identity that evokes classic American diner motifs. The logo and taglines are custom hand-lettering designed by Claire Allison. The menu redesign promotes the cafe’s scratch-made food while explaining the unique ways to pay. We created new signage and environmental graphics to mark a sense of place and provide a warm and inviting atmosphere.

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Cafe Menu Design​

  • Added important information about the nonprofit structure, such as adding ‘pay-what-you-can cafe’, highlighted the 4-ways to pay for a meal, and explained how to redeem a token.

  • Added a call to action to promote ordering ahead of time for curbside pickup during COVID-19 dining restrictions.

  • Deemphasized prices on the menu, so it’s not a deciding factor when ordering.

  • Boxed out popular and most profitable menu items.

  • Updated menu layout to be more legible by removing the textured background, increasing the spacing between menu items, and separated the breakfast and lunch sections.

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Cafe Logo Design

  • The custom hand-lettered script gives the table wordmark a warm feeling, while a broad brush stroke is legible in both large and small formats.

  • Evokes the feeling of eating at an American diner. 

  • Add ‘pay-what-you-can cafe,’ so it’s clear what type of establishment A Place at the Table is.

  • The secondary information is typeset in a condensed sans-serif typeface to create contrast and allows the information to be reconfigured depending on space. 

  • Hand-lettered by Claire Allison.

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Client: A Place at the Table Cafe, Raleigh, North Carolina

Brand Design by: Sababa Design

Custom Lettering by: Claire Allisons

Photography by: Trimark DigitalGenna Martella

Sign Installation by: Capital Sign Solutions

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