Exeter Branding Review: Ruby Modern Diner

01/02/2013, Web Design, Dan McIvor

There’s always a buzz when a new restaurant or coffee shop arrives in Exeter.

There’s been lots of chatter about Ruby Modern Diner, who have just opened in a fabulous Grade II listed building in Queen Street.

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It would seem that the Exeter food and drink market is a tough one to crack. We’ve enjoyed the arrival of the likes of Bill’s, Coffee#1 and Devon Coffee in recent months, and we hope that Ruby also manage to hit the ground running.


We’re web designers, not food critics, so we thought that we would review Ruby Modern Diner in a slightly left-of-field manner. Much as we love great coffee and burgers made with locally sourced Ruby red beef (we hope they have a delicious vegetarian option too), we thought that it would be fun instead to have a look at the way in which owners Erin and Dicky have developed the branding of their business.


We like it!

Erin and Dicky have been very savvy in gathering an audience for their diner even while 72 Queen Street has been redeveloped. They’ve received over 600 ‘likes’ on Facebook and used a simple WordPress blog to share Instagram-style photos as the refurbishment of the venue has progressed. We’re impressed by the way in which Ruby has developed an online identity even before the doors first opened to the public.


The sense of identity continues the moment that you walk in the door. If you check out Ruby’s fledgling website or recruitment material you’ll notice that typography features very prominently in a clean, modern design. The same typeface has been employed throughout the restaurant, giving it a consistent, classy, spacious feel. The menus are simple and clean, and the branding in the windows running parallel to Queen Street is a classy touch.


When we asked our in-house graphic designer Matt what he thought of Ruby’s graphic design he was very complementary, drawing comparisons with the surf brand Roxy. The use of a distinctive typeface (font family) is an increasingly attractive option in both graphic design and web design, and allows local businesses to easily stamp their identity on their website, premises and literature. It’s timeless, memorable (you’d recognise that Coca-Cola scrawl anywhere, right?) and very much in fashion.



We trust that Ruby will be a big hit with Exeter’s food & drink aficionados. If you’re in and around Exeter, head to Queen Street for great local food and quality coffee, and while you’re at it, why not spend a moment taking in that carefully-crafted branding that is such an essential part of a fledgling local business…


P.S. If you’d like to look at more beautiful photos of Ruby Modern Diner pop by Matt Austin’s blog.

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About the author

Dan McIvor

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