CLIENT: Iwana Taco at UBC

INDUSTRY: Food & Beverage, Tex-Mex

The AMS Student Nest at the University of British Columbia is a student-centered hub of activity. Focusing on student needs, this innovative space is great for studying, meetings, events, socializing, and even eating. The Nest houses the AMS office and a few food outlets that they own and operate. These eateries employ more than 400 students, while contributing to AMS student services. Iwana Taco is a Tex-Mex inspired food outlet I had the pleasure to brand and set the art direction for.

With a commitment to sustainability, this eatery offers organic fair trade coffee, local seasonal products, and Oceanwise™ certified seafood. Containers are compostable whenever possible, and discounts are offered to students who bring their own containers or mugs.

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Design Concept
Iwana Taco is a fun and vibrant food outlet offering tacos, burritos, and other Mexican inspired foods and drinks. Located on the lower level of the AMS Nest, this blast of color is a great place for take-out or a casual bite with friends.

The inspiration behind Iwana Taco’s name stems from the original word given by the Taíno people for iguana - iwana. Properly pronounced eewan-nah, the word also resembles the phrase I wanna (I want a), which is the way this restaurant’s name is pronounced.

The Iwana Taco logo is an illustrated Iguana by the name of Iggy. Iggy - who loves tacos - is drawn in an circular mandala shape. With its arms out, Iggy is practically begging for another taco!


This concept was derived from the Funnelling Design Process as the name and direction were developed. I met with various executives from the AMS of UBC, and the UBC Student Council President.


Custom illustrations are plastered on the entire wall owning the space it occupies. The graphics scream loudly as it can be seen at great distances. All graphics and artworks are custom designed and illustrated for Iwana Taco.

Art Direction

Each stage of the design process helped conceptualize this unique identity. As we planned out the brand direction and graphic design, we also considered the space. To amplify Iwana Tacos footprint, we ordered picnic tables and painted them with the brand colors.

Print Design

For Iwana Taco, I was able to design a large menu for the location. The menu had to comply with AMS standards, and provide information about Oceanwise™ certified foods and other dietary considerations. I was also responsible for sourcing the printing and installation of the menu.


Over the course of this contract, I was responsible for sourcing and scheduling vinyl installations and all other interior elements. Some of these items include wall graphics, menu, and floor graphic.