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Maaemo by Bielke&Yang, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Branding by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Design studio Bielke&Yang have worked with Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo to develop a holistic brand identity solution informed by the philosophies and creative practices of its unique dining experience and culinary expertise.

The studio’s brand identity design, which encompassed website, custom typography, colour, the tone and content of images, and the tactile finishes of welcome notes, magazines, business cards, folders and menu design, was created to collectively reflect, contribute to, and communicate Maaemo’s unique philosophy. A philosophy that sees innovative dishes created from organic and seasonal ingredients, farmed in a way that is sensitive to the ecology of their environment, and prepared with an original and creative mindset.

Blind embossed business card by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Each element that makes up Maaemo’s visual identity was crafted, managed, and brought together by Bielke&Yang. A design studio whose process and concept-driven approach very much reflects Maaemo’s own. So while not immediately apparent, the relationship between high quality culinary experience and design practice runs throughout the identity.

Maaemo logo designed by Uniform

What makes Bielke&Yang’s approach and solution so distinctive and representative of Maaemo’s high quality ingredient choices, refined processes and attention to detail is, and perhaps most subtly, drawn out through a custom font developed in collaboration with boutique type foundry Colophon. The font’s simple characters, light line weights and crafted origins share the values of clarity and honesty that underpin the restaurant’s menu and dining experience, and most importantly, is unique to them. These are also the founding principles of Maaemo’s logo, a recognisable and consistent asset retained and originally designed by Uniform.

Branding by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Bielke&Yang’s approach to images, captured by photographer Tuukka Koski and used generously in print and online, clearly look to establish a strong relationship between the cool winds, biting rain and rising mountains of the Norwegian landscape, the high quality ingredients of Maaemo’s dishes, and its deep appreciation and respect for natural beauty, ecology and sustainable practises.

Rather than spoiling the many culinary surprises that have taken Esben Holmboe Bang many years to perfect, Bielke&Yang’s website design takes its lead from Tuukka Koski’s striking images, connecting guests to the raw and harsh climate of Norway and the ingredients that bare its torment. The website’s unique structure encourages visitors to delve deeper, to discover more about the restaurant’s space, current and seasonal menu, and to learn about the people that have helped to make Maaemo the world-renowned restaurant it is today. This connection to nature also proliferates print, providing a layer of contextual detail to ingredients and dishes.

Branding by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Branding by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Branding by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Maaemo’s welcome notes, guest package and menus compliment the rich, organic textures of Tuukka Koski’s photographic work with the physical detail and handmade qualities of open binding, fabric covers, embosses, perforations, uncoated papers, folds and original shapes. These are experience-led, hold a number of surprises, and are products of processes that are firmly rooted in the traditions and craftsmanship of print production. Processes not far removed from the development and preparation kitchens at Maaemo. More from Bielke&Yang on BP&O.

Design: Bielke&Yang. Photography: Tuukka Koski. Opinion: Richard Baird

Menus by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Menus by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Stationery by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Stationery by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Stationery by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Stationery by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Stationery by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Print by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Print by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Print by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

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Website by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Website by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Website by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

Website by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

What do you think of Bielke&Yang’s brand identity work for Maaemo? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter.

Website by graphic design studio Bielke&Yang for Norwegian two Michelin starred restaurant Maaemo

More brand identity work by Bielke&Yang:

Logo - Vitenparken  Logo - Food Studio  Logo - Taco Republica


  • Shaughn McGurk

    The simple, dramatic beauty of this work stopped me in my tracks. Culinary precision reflected and amplified by photographic, typographic and lithographic craftsmanship. The fierce landscape is captured with bitingly cold clarity. The commitment to quality and a sense of dramatic narrative echoed in the stories shared. Not showing the finished food is just genius.

    Thanks for finding and sharing Richard. A real tour de force. And congratulations on getting your review included as one of the stories. High praise from the client indeed.

    • Anonon

      Not showing the finished food is not genius, it’s been done since the advent of marketing.

      • Shaughn_McGurk

        I didn’t say it was original or unique. Just genius. If you take a look at how most (not all, just most) restaurants market themselves, at some point they show some nicely prepared and hopefully beautifully photographed food. Maaemo deliberately does not, deciding that the surprise is best left to the moment the diner is presented with their food in the restaurant. Instead they tell the story of their gastrnomic concept by illustrating the geography, weather, people and ideas about care and craftsmanship that influence it. That’s enough genius for me – whether its been done before or not.

        • Bielke&Yang

          Thanks for the kind words, really glad you liked it Shaughn! Recommend visiting Maaemo too, you would love it.

  • Anonon

    “a holistic brand identity solution informed by the philosophies and creative practices of its unique dining experience and culinary expertise”
    My god that’s a pretentious sentence.

    • Shaughn_McGurk

      No picture and Anonon as a name. My god that’s a easy veil to hide behind. This is a design blog. If you are after unpretentious you’ve come to the wrong place. Oh, I think I can hear three billy goats approaching. You’ll need to get back under your bridge.