Dark Forest Tavern

Logo Design Brand Identity Packaging Web Design UX/UI

Project Year

Nathan Young

 Dark Forest Tavern is a tavern for cute video game monsters who need to restore their hit points after a big fight. Our goal is to make healing potions and foods rich in protein for the monsters that too-often disregarded. Our menu includes soups, stews, and protein-rich appetizers such as our grilled lizards (if you see yourself on the menu, don’t order it!) The exclusive location specifically for monsters (no adventurers allowed) is deep in a magical dark forest.

“Where do monsters go to recharge after a fight? Are they just left to die, or is there a place where they can get a hearty meal and a drink?”



My research for this project drew heavily from my childhood spent playing fantasy games like Zelda and Final Fantasy. I've always loved the whimsical and fun worlds of fantasy. Even now, instead of sleeping, I often find myself engrossed in cute fantasy mobile games or listening to Dungeons and Daddies (a Dungeons and Dragons podcast). This passion fueled my desire to create a brand that is not only fun but also super cute.

I decied to create a classic medieval tavern with a twist—the twist being that unlike most video game taverns, this one would cater exclusively to monsters.

Mood Boards


The next phase of this process involved developing the Dark Forest identity, aiming to maintain a traditional tavern look while embracing a video game theme. I began by sketching around 50 different designs, experimenting with various tavern elements such as shields, banners, and potion bottles. Initially, the concept was to model the tavern after Bull-E-Wog’s from the Dungeons and Daddies podcast (with permission, of course). However, this idea was discarded in favor of the concept of a secret dark forest tavern where huge, scary monsters would convene.

Through this brainstorming process, the tavern gained a distinct personality and voice, which consistently communicates with its audience.


Design Process


Situated in a magical forest, this tavern is intentionally concealed, making it challenging for humans to locate. 
Given the common association of dark forests with sinister themes in video games, the name "Dark Forest Tavern"
felt appropriately mysterious and intriguing.


To capture the essence of the forest, beer, and tavern atmosphere, a brown color palette was selected. 
Brown symbolizes the wood and trees of the forest, as well as the rich, amber hues of beer. A variety of tints, 
shades, and saturations were explored to ensure legibility and visual interest. This limited color scheme maintains brand cohesion
and simplicity, highlighting the brand's sophistication.


Traditional medieval fonts are often associated with taverns, inspiring the selection of a font that is both rustic and playful. A 
bold serif font was sought to convey strength and character. "Mr. Darcy" was chosen as the primary font for its decorative elements,
which enhance the brand's inviting nature. For the secondary font, "Taurunum" was selected for its bold, condensed style, 
lending a more serious tone to the brand identity.


The menu items served at the tavern inspired the incorporation of thematic icons into the brand. Four key icons—a eyeball, a bone, a finger,
and a potion bottle—feature prominently on menus, the website, and other branded materials. Additionally, aromatic herbs and onions, 
commonly used in tavern cuisine, were included to further enhance the brand's thematic cohesion.


The Dark Forest Tavern's menu is inspired by medieval times, featuring materials that would have been common during that era.
 Leather, often used in clothing and armor, provides a durable and authentic sleeve for the menu. To enhance the medieval feel,
 the paper used for the menu is intentionally aged and homemade, resembling aged parchment with a touch of color.
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