Chef Lincoln Carson worked closely with the team at FaustLevito to create the brand and identity for Bon Temps. We loved catching up with the team including founders Leah Faust and Leslie Levito, and art director Shoghak Kazandijan to learn more about their studio and the process of bringing Bon to life.
Why did you decide to start FaustLevito?
Leah: Leslie and I became friends during a time we were experiencing parallels in life and in work cultures. We both reached a ceiling in our job roles, so we thought, “now what? How can we have careers and start families?” I come from a creative background and Leslie has a business background – we shared a similar vision of wanting to build brands from a 360-degree view incorporating both creative and strategy. Then we started to build a multidisciplinary team and looked for people with similar values to be a part of our team. For us, it’s like a marriage and the team is our family.
How did you begin the branding process for Bon Temps?
Leslie: Brand strategy is where we start, which began with walking Lincoln through different archetypes and what the pillars of Bon Temps identity would be. For example, in the movie “The Breakfast Club,” you understand the archetypes of the nerd, rebel, popular, etc. so we worked with him to set the brand archetypes for Bon Temps. We landed on the “connoisseur” and the “every person.”
Leah: From his personality, Lincoln is the connoisseur—sensory, elegance, passion, chivalry, his finesse. “Distinctive” is also one of his pillars and we all really experienced his work as such.
Sho: We don’t start selecting imagery until we fully understand what it is that we’re trying to represent.
What did you look to for inspiration when crafting Bon’s identity?
Leah: The Bowery in New York! All of the flag signage throughout the neighborhood. The Bowery subway station inspired the faded bathroom signage on the floor at Bon. We wanted to bring forth the layers of the city by adding textures and rough edges with materials and lettering that were made by hand. Bon’s brand is not perfectly manufactured; for example, the kerning of the logo is asymmetrical and meant to be slightly disruptive.
Sho: Bon’s brand essence is “for every person and every moment.” There is a very human element in the brand. With Bon’s modern interior, everything was beautiful, marble, pristine, and symmetrical, but if you look closely, there’s imperfection in the marble. We wanted to represent this imperfection.
What sets FaustLevito apart from other branding agencies?
Leah: When you look at our portfolio, we aren’t a one-note firm. It’s our honor to interpret artists’ dreams and align with operators to ultimately bring them joy and see it all come to life.
Favorite thing to eat and drink at Bon Temps?
Leslie: Tomato Tartare Canapé + Crudite Martini
Leah: Toad in a Hole + a glass of White Burgundy
Sho: Chocolate Souffle + Le Lapin Cocktail
In the spirit of Bon Temps, what is your idea of a good time?
Leah: For a restaurant, I want to get to a place early because I want to sleep early, which is why I love Bon Temps. I want to be treated like I’ve been there 17 times before. To inspire the team, we do workcations outside of LA and wander around to get inspiration while we’re working.
Leslie: Just yesterday, I was walking and thinking about great people in the neighborhood and I thought, “why do I not feel a need to go out with friends?” It’s because I’m working with my friends or I’m with my husband and my boys. I’m surrounded by people I love.
Sho: I love connecting with new people and people I love over an amazing meal or through a shared interest.