CASE STUDY: Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ

CASE STUDY: Shawn's Smokehouse BBQ


A case study is a peek into the process. While we design a custom solution for each project, the process is generally the same. We gather information (goals, audience, deadline, budget, etc.), present designs, collect feedback, make revisions or redesign as needed, and then complete the final files.

Shawn’s Barbecue

Project: Website maintenance…and more

Duration: 2013 to Present

Profile: Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ has been in business as a full-service catering company for more than 30 years. Family-owned and operated, they specialize in weddings, rehearsal dinners, parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, outdoor barbecues, and much more. We had our first tastes of Shawn’s food when he catered CulpeperFest. It was memorable—crisp, peppery fried catfish and Shawn’s signature fresh, sweet coleslaw (with coconut)! Owners Shawn & Magda Moss opened their first storefront restaurant in Culpeper in March 2013, just a few months before they knocked on our door. Since then they’ve added a second location in Warrenton and a food truck while still operating the catering business.


Description: Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ was referred to us in November 2013 because they urgently needed help with website maintenance. Their previous web designer had been unreachable for several months, and the information on the website, including prices and specials, was out of date. We formed a plan to get the website back on track. We needed to gain access to the site, download a backup, and work quickly to make the updates. It was important to us to fix the website AND demonstrate that we were trustworthy.

Once the website was current, we continued to maintain it, creating custom graphics to promote specials (e.g., Superbowl, wings, spirit nights, coupons). We recommended using these same graphics for half-sheet flyers, and we provided versions of the files to use on social media and in email marketing.

TIP: Not only does reusing graphics save time and money, it’s the most effective way to build a brand.

In the spring of 2014, Shawn needed to reprint his paper menus, and we were given the opportunity to update them and tweak the design. We compared the menus to those of their competitors and offered advice on how to stand out and reorganize the menu options. We didn’t make big changes. Instead our approach has been to make gradual improvements so that the branding has evolved along with Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ.

In the years we have worked together, K Art and Design has developed a strong color palette, bold type treatments, and a new logo and website design for Shawn’s. We’ve designed labels for rubs and sauces, posters for the restaurants, menu boards, vinyl graphics for the restaurant tables, t-shirts, newspaper advertising, catering menus, window graphics, email blasts, and social media strategies. More than projects, it’s a partnership between two family businesses.