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Start Bar


Start Bar combines past and present to create something entirely new in St. Louis. Atomicdust followed that theme to deliver a brand, website and interior that elevate the arcade bar concept.

Start Bar Branding and Design

The Glow of the Neon

The team behind Start Bar hired Atomicdust to launch a brand new arcade bar in downtown St. Louis. We started with branding, identity and website work, then ventured into interior design to bring the brand to life. Everywhere you look,’90s arcade culture and rap serve as Start Bar’s building blocks.

Start Bar branding elements- The wall
The elements of the Start Bar brand come together in the environment
Neon lights used in the Interior branding for Start Bar
Start Bar branding elements

Arcade Heroes

To set the tone for Start Bar’s interior, we framed photos and created 10-foot art murals that celebrate early gaming culture. A mix of photos and 8-bit designs highlight The Legend of Zelda, the Konami Code and icons from the beginning of the video game era.

Start Bar Video Game Heroes
The branded restroom entry way at Start Bar
The branded restroom tile at Start Bar
Custom tile design in the Start Bar restrooms
Custom branded coins for Start Bar

Coins Rule Everything Around Me

When it came time to create tokens, we drew inspiration from the timeless Wu-Tang Clan classic “C.R.E.A.M.” After a tweak to the lyrics, thousands of coins were minted with the line, “Coins Rule Everything Around Me.”

The neon lit Nintendo wall at Start Bar in St. Louis
The backlit stairs at Start Bar
Crowd enjoying the video game console suites at Start Bar

It's a Secret to Everybody

With a large, open brick building with 25-foot ceilings, we didn’t want to give away all of Start Bar’s secrets in the first few feet. So we designed a secret room and hid it behind an out-of-order arcade game. Inside, photos of video game villains and a mounted Nintendo Super Scope create a mini video game hunting lodge. 

The Secret Room at Start Bar in St. Louis
The secret room at Start Bar in St. Louis - hidden behind an arcade cabinet
Start Bar Website - Konami Code triggered a secret room

Get Social

While working on the branding and interior for Start Bar, we created social accounts to share our in-progress designs and build excitement. Over the course of 12 weeks, we helped manage Start Bar’s social media presence, earning more than 4,000 Instagram followers and nearly 9,000 likes on Facebook.

Start Bar branding combines 1990's grunge design with video games and hip hop.
Atomicdust Branding Testimonials for Start Bar
The beer cooler at Start Bar with GZA Lyrics
Custom branding for the glassware at Start Bar
Start Bar menu design on hot pink paper

Level Up

The brand identity and environmental design for Start Bar has been honored locally at the AIGA St. Louis Design Show and American Advertising Awards, and recognized nationally by the Graphic Design USA American Package Design Awards.