People say you shouldn’t ask what goes into hot dogs, but that doesn’t work for us.
We’re curious. We like to know EXACTLY how the sausage … er … hot dog is made. Here at The Biscuit, we have an insatiable appetite for information about the creative process.
As we looked ahead on the calendar, we saw National Chili Dog Day circled on July 30 and thought this was the perfect time to inquire about what went into developing JJ, the graphic mascot for Charlotte’s own JJ’s Red Hots.
For that question, there was only one man to ask: Queen City creative and designer, Matt Stevens.
That Dog’s A Little Irreverant
“Jon [Luther – owner of JJ’s] wanted a brand that felt classic and timeless. [One] that had a classic diner feel, but also incorporated the unique roadside hot dog places spread throughout America,” says Matt. “JJ was meant to capture all of that and also have a bit of an irreverent feel as well.”
No doubt about that. Just look at him, that hot dog does have an attitude, but not too much …
“He originally had devil horns and a pitchfork but ‘mischievous’ quickly became ‘evil’,” says Matt. (You can get a glimpse of that devilish dog in some of Matt’s original design concepts here.)
Eventually, the team felt they’d found the right balance and had created a character that embodied their brand — a retro style that was a throwback to great hot dog stands, grill marks that said JJ’s dogs are never boiled and a plucky attitude that invited you into the fun.
Matt has continued to develop new work for JJ’s. See examples here and here.
You Need More Matt
Check out Matt’s work on his web site and Instagram account. We’re big fans of his recent “Good Movies As Old Books” project.
Take Another Bite of JJ’s Red Hots
The last few months have been challenging for restaurants everywhere. While JJ’s has announced the closure of its location Uptown and the temporary closure in Ballantyne, the grill is still fired up at the original Dilworth location, with outdoor seating for 60+. And, their Frank the Tank mobile grilling unit is still rolling and ready for rental.
So, if you want to celebrate National Chili Dog Day the right way, you know where to go.
View this post on Instagram
Update from JJs Red Hots owner, Jon Luther⠀ ⠀ 1. Interview with Charlotte Observer regarding JJs Uptown⠀ ⠀ 2. JJs Dilworth is alive and well and thriving – thank you for your support!⠀ ⠀ 3. JJs Ballantyne will be reopening when we can do it safely providing the same great food and service⠀ ⠀ 4. We can seat 60-70 people outdoors at JJs Dilworth!⠀ ⠀ 5. Frank the Tank – JJs mobile grilling unit – is quite popular. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book! ⠀ ⠀ Refer to social channels for updates, promos, specials and more!
Like what we write?
Do you think you have what it takes to write for the Biscuit?Well, let us know!!
"*" indicates required fields