BPO


Park Bench Deli by Foreign Policy, Singapore

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity, print and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Park Bench Deli is located on Singapore’s Telok Ayer St and features a rich interior design, styled on the all-American deli, that mixes a variety of vintage textures and ornament. These include tiled floors and wood panelled walls alongside personal items of the shop owners. Brand identity shares a similarly busy and material quality, referencing park life, and made up of menus, packaging, and lots of small takeaways such as stickers, embroidered patches and key rings. Although launched in 2015, Foreign Policy, the studio behind both brand identity and interior design, recently documented and published the project on their newly launched website.

Interior design by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Interior design by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Interior design is full of detail, and although it leverages many current trends in cafe, deli and restaurant design, its balance of reclaimed materials, wall to wall wood, flora, personal details such as skateboards and pictures, inner-city texture of overlapping posters, utilitarian furniture and the elegance of flooring and cornicing make for a very distinctive and welcoming space.

Interior design by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Interior design by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity, print and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

It is a visually and conceptually interesting piece of work, big on ornament, texture and detail, with an indoor/outdoor big city duality in concept, split between interior design and brand identity. Where interior leans on the more earthy and the reclaimed, capturing some of the current interior design trends of high-end big city deli’s, visual identity draws on the scruffier more urban qualities of communal parks in its use of brightly coloured and irregular stickers, choice of language, image and mix of type.

Brand identity, print and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Visual identity plays with the aesthetics of discarded ticket stubs, fly-postering, by-law notices, show flyers and the political stickers that often punctuate, with bright colour, the grey concrete and worn park bench wood of the urban environment. This does, however, deviate slightly with trail patches and illustrations of bears that, although perhaps park-based and with an American flavour, are more rural in their references.

The way the project has been shot, emphasising urban decay through backdrops of layered posters, confuses and distracts from the nature of the work, making it appear more chaotic. If some of the backgrounds were removed, and given the context of the interior, assets begin to feel more balanced.

Brand identity, print and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

The choice of type again plays with the tension between the polished and reclaimed interior design and the more utilitarian outdoor world and its chaotic communication. This can be seen in the current qualities of a slab serif wordmark with cuts, and the louder and more direct quality of condensed and uppercase sans-serifs.

Branded apron by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Type occasionally appears a touch haphazard but draws on the less organised communication that proliferates cities. There are some nice layouts, particularly in menus that have a discarded show-flyer structure and typesetting, which continues in the use the ticket stubs. The pigeons are perhaps in opposition to good quality food but there is plenty of personality in their use alongside stickers, and clearly tied to the urban environment. More from Foreign Policy on BP&O.

Design: Foreign Policy. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts Used: Courier New, Stag Stencil, Jersey M54Miso.

Brand identity, stickers and patches by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity and print by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity and menus by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

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Brand identity and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity and packaging by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

Brand identity and print by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

What do you think of Foreign Policy’s brand identity for Park Bench Deli? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter.

Brand identity, stickers, keyrings and patches by Foreign Policy for Singapore's Park Bench Deli

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  • Takuro

    Seems like most of Foreign Policy’s work look like over-decorated.
    It’s pretty but do they hold water without make-up?

    -Takuro

    • Hi Takuro, I’d agree, it does appear this way. I think this is largely down to the nature of shooting for portfolio where all the work, which would usually be distributed across a space, or existing outside of space, is pushed together. I don’t think the studio help themselves when it comes to composition, and the addition of props, particularity when their approach is often utilises lots of colour and type.

      • Takuro

        Thank you Richard.
        Yes, I was thinking about it. Design is definitely as much about what you do and what you decide not to.
        It is important to exercise restraint or design becomes mere styling.

        -Takuro

  • Eve Warren

    Very weird way of photographing work.

  • Chloe Chang

    I can’t help but feel that they are making too many references at once… Resulting in not-quite-nailing the “all-american” deli. For instance, the sandwich wrapper makes a humorous reference to pesky NY pigeons but is more like an inside joke, and conflicts with the earnestness of the stencil serif logo.

  • Magda

    Am I the only one who doesn’t agree? I think they have distinctive approach, building not only the basics of brand identity, but managing the whole experience. Too often we create good looking identities, which look great presented in portfolio as a set of stationery, but make no sense in their actual setting (mismatched/boring brand gadgets, interiors etc).