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Identity Branding Environment Design Signage Website

The Underground lives in the heart of Toronto’s York University at the Student Centre. Jackson Wynne was hired to rebrand the 25-year-old non-profit, student-run restaurant business. Everything from renaming consideration to menus, signage, window graphics and website was rethought, redesigned and then some. With lots of food options on campus, the updated Underground is repositioned as the go to campus kitchen destination – it’s going down at the Underground!


Renaming the establishment was explored, but in the end it was determined that the Underground was perfect as it was. The core identity system was established with room for play – making connections.

Customers want to connect. Connect with people, connect with food, and in a sense, connect with themselves by unwinding and enjoying a well-deserved treat. Making the connection between food, fun, and education is achieved by using the Underground logo as a bridge, literally connecting the daily life of a student to food and events, changing levels, stepping like a staircase or guiding them like a winding subway map to experience.

Sub-branding architecture was organized using three silos – kitchen, catering and events.

Print Design

Critical pieces like the main menu were carefully and strategically updated. A late night snack menu, catering menu and special events were also created. Items included stationery, posters, media kit, promotions and table top items like coasters, tent cards, take out bags, and stickers. New uniforms were created in brand colours with a series of designed shirts.


The Underground’s on-campus identity required more presence. Jackson Wynne provided wayfinding, signage, and environmental designs to help guide customers to their destination. All sides of the student centre building were covered with vinyl window graphics the south, north, hallways, and vestibule. A TV display provides relevant promotions and brings attention to critical information. Inside, areas like the lounge applied wallpaper and vinyl for an updated look. Signage helped point to the restaurant, washrooms, and event space. For the restaurant – interior acoustic panels were printed on and the upholstery was updated.

“Jackson Wynne provided us with all of the tools we needed to revitalize our restaurant business. From the new identity to our menu, branded environments, our website and then some. Their team worked closely with ours to ensure a successful launch and roll-out across campus. Just in time for our 25 year anniversary, we’re very pleased with the new look, and our customers love us. Our profits have nearly doubled since rebranding, but more importantly, our customers continue to return for the great food and atmosphere!”

Jennifer Muir, YUSC


The Underground digital presence was originally divided into microsites across several properties. Jackson Wynne streamlined the digital experience into one website. Carrying the updated brand throughout, their new platform is fully responsive for mobile, tablet and desktop devices. Designed with social in mind, all silos are covered and easily accessible. The event calendar is populated from their Facebook feed for ease of administration.


A successful rebrand with a lot of moving parts, everything came together nicely and in time for September 2015 back to school re-launch. The latest Underground captures the attention of new and existing students, faculty and visitors. With a presence that demands attention, their new image should last for many years to come, providing them a platform to build on.