BPO


Marco Marco by Acre, Singapore

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Sans-serif logotype and business card design by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Marco Marco is an Italian restaurant business with five locations across the city-state of Singapore and an affordable menu made up of international interpretations of classic dishes. These are created from simple recipes inspired by modern food culture using fresh locally sourced ingredients. The name, a reference to the adventures of merchant traveller Marco Polo, was chosen to reflect the international meeting point of ingredients and cultures.

Marco Marco’s brand identity, designed by Acre, draws on the simplicity and accessibility of the experience, the quality and creativity of the dishes and their modern international influences, and visualises these through the juxtaposition of a simple type alongside the detail of deconstructed dish photography. The project included business card and menu design.

Sans-serif logotype designed by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant business Marco Marco

Acre’s approach effectively mixes a typographic simplicity with richer photographic detail, balancing aesthetic interest with a clear communicative intention that is both inferred and obvious in nature.

The logotype’s uppercase sans-serif characters, rounded corners, the motion carried through the diagonal baseline and dual type size, and its bright red colour conveys an accessibility and affordability without appearing cheap, captures some of the vibrancy you would expect from fresh Italian dishes and the energy you might associate with Italian culture. Acre’s intention to be universal, international and friendly is well-served by this particular choice and typesetting, and is appropriate when considered in conjunction with the more compelling and visually richer and organic aspects of the imagery.

This simplicity and the perception of affordability is expanded upon across a one ink single sheet menu with the white background of a standard stock, a conventional, well-spaced, grid-based layout and the addition of a monospaced type selection.

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

The project gets its distinctive qualities from a series of still life dish deconstructions. Each is well shot, feature some neat approaches to difficult ingredients such as sauce and spices, pastas and garnishes, and although consistent in concept, benefit from the wide variety of ingredients and the different ways that these have been placed, as well as a broad and current pastel colour palette that picks out the fine natural detail of the ingredients. The absence of overt character within the logotype, and the structured nature and detail of the images appear well-balanced.

Logo, business cards and menus designed by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

The images not only work well to inform guests of ingredients in a more universal manner, one that goes beyond the broad use of English, and secure a unique, well-founded and compelling aesthetic, but also sets an open and honest tone, a sense of freshness and creativity with an ordered quality that implies consistency. These resonate well with the open kitchens of the restaurants, and are well-utilised across the menus, giving a richer and alternative detail to the functionality of the single sheet menus.

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Small details such as the naming conventions of each dish, based on cities of the world, the use of a cream substrate across the business cards, the striped cap, red shirt and apron of the uniform, introduce a variety of smaller details that reinforce the theme of traditional Italian experience with international influences. More from Acre on BP&O.

Design: Acre
Opinion: Richard Baird
Fonts Used: Letter Gothic & Trade Gothic Next Soft Round

Logo and business cards by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

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Menu by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Menu by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Visual identity and menus by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Visual identity and menus by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Dish discontruction photography / still life by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

Visual identity and uniform by Acre for Singapore based Italian restaurant brand Marco Marco

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  • Gary

    The photos looks like be a blatant ripoff of F&B and Carl Kleiners work for IKEA, the neatly organized photographs is not original, but the concept of the swedes is http://bpando.org/2015/03/25/logo-marco-marco

    Also, though not as obvious, the identity doesn’t exactly differentiate from this work from Heydays http://www.designworklife.com/2014/01/02/heydays-bolivar-identity-and-collateral

    • http://www.meorstudio.co.uk Nik Read

      I thought you might have been a bit harsh, then googled the said photographs from Kleiners and there is more than a similarity. I think without the photos actual typography part of the brand is quite nice but perhaps lacks a unique element to make it stand out.

    • zhou

      Well, I’d think it’s more because everyone’s following the same design trend nowadays. Especially the flatlay, lol.

      • http://www.meorstudio.co.uk Nik Read

        Pinterest

    • Fábio Pimenta

      Agree.

  • Gareth Manson

    Lovely. I think it is a great exploring idea for the idea of recipes. To deconstruct a recipe by its individual pieces to showcase a meal as more than the sum of its parts. It does look a little stale and empty. But I am sure the brand will grow and fill that in over time. As for ripping off, deconstruction of parts in photography is a post modern device used for the past 20 years. And does not belong to IKEA. We are all delivered from the work and ideas that came before us.

  • http://www.cartmelldesign.com/ Nancy Cartmell

    Great Thinks and your concept in very nice..

    http://www.cartmelldesign.com/

  • New York For Now

    Must agree that the photos are too close to Kleiner’s work to say that they’re inspired. Kleiner pioneered that style for years, even way before he worked with IKEA. It caught like wildfire and is now being emulated everywhere. But this MarCo work is by far the most blatant ‘borrowing’ of his style. Shame on Acre.