Running a bar or restaurant, even a fictional one, is no easy task. Between keeping the bathrooms well stocked with paper towel and keeping the health inspector at bay for another few months, bar owners may not have enough time in the day to think about building brand awareness. That’s okay, though, because U.K. graphic designer and branding expert Tom Ward is here to help. Through his studio located near London, he’s worked with plenty of real clients, including Levi’s and the National Health Service. As his Instagram account shows, he’s obviously something of a movie and pop culture buff as well. Of late, Ward has found a project that manages to combine his profession and his passion. Movie Mats is a series of colorful, customized coasters based on fictional watering holes from movie history. Even though these places technically don’t exist, they remain extremely vivid in people’s memories. Ward’s coasters help these places seem even more real.
Fans of Pulp Fiction know that the best place for nostalgia-minded Los Angeles residents to wet their respective whistles is Jack Rabbit Slim’s. After they’ve participated in the twist contest and tipped the Mamie Van Doren lookalike waitress, patrons may want to grab one of these made-to-order coasters with the cartoon bunny logo.
Lord knows that Indiana Jones could use a stiff drink or two after some of the hair-raising scrapes he’s gotten himself into in the far flung corners of the world. Fittingly, Ward has created coasters for a few of the alcohol serving joints featured in that franchise.
The artist has also created coasters for places no sane person would want to visit, like Tech Noir from the original Terminator.
But what makes the Movie Mats project really interesting is that Ward has chosen to immortalize some less obvious bars from movie history. He designed an elegant round coaster, for instance, for The Blue Oyster, the gay biker bar featured in Police Academy.
For those who need their memories refreshed: