Meng Yang
Brand Designer

Bona Fide Sandwich Co

Brand & Environmental Design


Bona Fide Sandwich Co is a boutique sandwich shop in Hillsborough, NC.

Brainchild of restaurateur partners Matt Fox and Dean James, Bona Fide Sandwich Co is a small, take-out only shop located in Hillsborough's downtown strip. While at UnitOneNine, I worked with the Creative Director along with the client to concept and develop the overall brand. Flying out to Hillsborough to join the Bona Fide team, we fully immersed ourselves to the town vibe to understand the demographics, location strategy and enjoy some fine food and southern hospitality.


The Bona Fide team wanted to create a proud and wholly Hillsborough-esque brand that the local community could easily embrace and also reflect Matt and Dean’s affinity for the almighty sandwich. From the classic-looking, bold brand-mark to brand messaging down to supporting assets, I developed the Bona Fide brand with careful consideration to convey the food philosophy Matt and Dean proposed from our initial meetings. Working together with illustrator Jenelle Huddleston, we married whimsical illustrations with knee-slapping copy to communicate brand ethos and messaging.

We not only had a blast working with Meng and UnitOneNine to develop the brand for our sandwich shop, but the results speak for themselves. We really appreciated the patience, dedication and commitment to getting every detail right. Having the right brand and materials in hand upfront really gave us an advantage in the market from day one. Thanks Bo!
— Matt Fox, Partner & Owner • Bona Fide Sandwich Co

Building the brand environment.

Along with the brand, I also led environmental design and production for the interior and exterior of the restaurant. From fixtures to floorplans, I worked with the team to coordinate space planning as well as environmental branding. Acting as the communication channel between the Bona Fide crew and fabrication team, I ensured production transitioned smoothly from screen to full-scale build.

To provide clear design and production directions, detailed elevation drawings just about covered every potential technical issue that environmental branding could run into. With careful consideration for equipment obstructions, ceiling overhangs to town code limitations, I designed the environment mindful of production and budget concerns but fully leveraging the new brand. Also, practical and utilitarian design suggestions were factored in for the Bona Fide team to be self-sustainable upon project completion.

Overall, this project’s success was immensely due to the exceptional trust the Bona Fide team handed to UnitOneNine. Bringing the Bona Fide brand from concept to creation was an excellent exercise and beyond design, the client and team made the project process enjoyable.

Meng was not only a creative force on our project, but truly a partner as well. Two things were very clear to us from the outset until the day we opened our doors - that he cared deeply about getting our brand and the details right, and that we would not have gotten there on our own without him.
— Dean James, Partner & Manager • Bona Fide Sandwich Co


Agency: UnitOneNine
Creative Director: Lee Salisbury
Supporting Designer/Illustrator: Jenelle Huddleston