Corporate Identity – Mission BBQ

Locally owned, Maryland based, Mission BBQ founded their restaurant brand concept on a genuine commitment to “those who serve” — military, police, firefighters, and EMTs. Their goal was to embody and live the hometown, established, local BBQ joint from product to architecture to old school neon signs outside. The environment inside would be casual and comfortable and include the uniforms, helmets and symbols representing the military and first responders. “Let’s create a welcoming, casual environment for those who serve our country, make the best BBQ in town, and the rest of the public will love it too.” Mission BBQ’s founders sought out an experienced sign company with extensive experience working with restaurant concepts and extending a brand across multiple locations. Enter Apple Signs, Inc.

“A”-Team Challenge: Support a start-up restaurant line with an evolving brand and aspirations for national development.

Brand Signage Solution Criteria:

Working hand-in-hand with management and their architects, Apple Signs, Inc. partnered with MBBQ to create a plan for the company signage program for restaurant exteriors, the interiors, and the general look and feel that would best represent the personality of their BBQ joints and what they represent.

  • Locally originated patriotic-themed BBQ restaurant with a mission to serve those who serve
  • Hometown feel, established go-to BBQ joint
  • Like old-school exposed neon as well as aged / distressed finishes
  • Welcoming environment for military, police, fire & EMT
  • Warm, friendly, casual, comfortable & clean setting

Branding Platform: Look and feel, aesthetics, materials and palette

  • Color palette: rusted metal, orange, black, and brick
  • Patriotic: star, flag pole, military truck for catering to be used as a highly visible mobile advertising vehicle
  • Logo: high contrast, with old-school look accented by neon lighting, and star
  • Interior: memorabilia, hats and uniforms of the military and first responders


Design Development – Apple Signs, inc. was suppled an initial logo, but what we did was to apply our own evaluations and guidance to their initial concepts and help provide the necessary insight they needed to embrace enhancements to their base logo / sign package. This has long been the trademark strength of Apple Signs, Inc. and understanding how to optimize logo presentation in various forms as well as integration in an optimal way into a variety of contexts, this was and still is a key to providing effecting interior and exterior signage solutions.

Exterior Signage – Customized a unique “exposed neon” LED solution that provided a simulated neon illumination but without the expense and significant service issues of neon. Allowed also for a greener solution dramatically decreasing electrical consumption and provided even lighting in all temps as well as ease of maintenance across multiple states. Value-engineered sign cabinet, preserving basic appearance of standard signs in place but offering cost savings for locations with clear access.

Site Research – Provided guidance to architectural and general contracting teams to optimize sign package presentations and minimize in installation costs.

Property Development – Supporting the development team’s due diligence with research by evaluating landlord criteria, reviewing new lease opportunities and sign permit code studies.

Permitting – developing permit drawings and preparing submittals for sign and electrical connection permits as well as structural for free-standing pylon and monument signs. Providing engineer-certifications to meet localized code standards, especially in areas affected by hurricanes. Research local laws and cases to develop presentations for zoning hearings showing the need for relief from the standard code. Included visual photo illustrations, safety evaluations, legibility and impact studies, research supported evidence on similar cases to assist in obtaining approvals.


As their business grew to 95 locations over a nine-year period, so did their understanding of what was needed to optimize their service. Uniqueness of their localities came into play so additional options were created to better fit their expanding needs, like unique finishes, integration of corrugated paneling, monument signs with masonry bases, etc.

  • Interior Sign Packages:
  • Custom Menu Boards
  • Local military dimensional signage
  • Painted logos & signs with aged/distressed finishes
  • High-performance vinyl graphics
  • Digitally printed graphics
  • Developed exclusive patina finishes for certain items desired to reflect a worn, aged appearances
  • New signs added as ideas are developed, some derived from evaluation and scaling of photos
  • Support stores with additional items added to menus, damaged or lost items and unique event signage
  • Bulk orders


Apple Signs, Inc. Teamed with MBBQ management to establish a stock signage program offering volume discounts to manage costs and position us to be responsive while providing signs and graphics for 20x new locations annually.