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Omakase Room by Tatsu by Savvy, United States

Opinion by Richard Baird

Visual identity and scented ceramic gift by Savvy for New York restaurant Omakase Room by Tatsu

Omakase Room by Tatsu is a unique sushi dining experience located on New York’s Christopher Street. The concept is rooted in the centuries-old family traditions of Japanese Executive Chef and host Tatsu Sekiguchi and the celebration of the individual and personal. This can be experienced in the restaurant’s unique and intimate setting, one that seats only eight, and a menu carefully crafted by Tatsu for one evening and for that specific group of eight, based on their mood, curiosities and preferences.

The restaurant features a light interior design of soft bamboo and fabric centred around Japanese minimalist traditions. Materials a few but high quality, the ceiling is low, and the design of the table and layout of chairs lend the restaurant a quiet and earthy material quality with little distraction, and establish an intimacy with the chef, and focuses the mind on the food.

Building on this, design studio Savvy developed a multi-sensory brand identity, with a similar restraint, materiality and discretion. This offers something of its own subtle character but does not detract from the food, while also working in small thoughtful details such as scent and semi-transparent paper that links type with interior. The project included menus, stationery, business cards and a ceramic gift.

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Kosmopolis by Hey, Spain

Opinion by Richard Baird

Logotype by Hey for Barcelona literature festival Kosmopolis

Kosmopolis is a five day literature festival that takes place in Barcelona every two years, but also has a programme of ongoing events in between. The festival, since 2002, has been organized by the exhibition and arts centre Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, and intends to promote literature in its many different forms. It does this through a series of talks and workshops. And by inviting professionals across a variety of fields; from poets, librarians and actors to comic-book artists, filmmakers and musicians, to discuss the key issues that concern the evolving nature of literature and present-day communications at large.

The centre recently worked with Spanish design studio Hey to create a visual identity for its 2017 event. Hey use colour to establish a continuity with previous events, but introduces a custom typeface that features characters informed by the digital, handwritten and painted word. This is complimented by a set of icons, and used to link programme guide, banners, signage and merchandise.

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Carlsberg Black Gold by Kontrapunkt, Denmark

Opinion by Richard Baird

New minimal package design by Danish studio Kontrapunkt for Carlsberg's Black Gold

Carlsberg is a Danish beer brand founded in 1847 by J.C. Jacobsen. It is part of the Carlsberg Group portfolio which also includes Tuborg, Kronenbourg and Somersby cider, as well as Carlsberg Export and Carlsberg Black Gold. Carlsberg has a significant heritage. And, like many other beer brands, has largely conveyed this using the visual language and associated legacy of the beer bottle label, which then made it on to cans.

Carlsberg has begun a steady move towards a more current visual expression. This is characterised by a concise communicative intention and a stylistic simplicity. This can be seen, initially, in the design of the Carlsberg can for the German market, created by Copenhagen-based studio Kontrapunkt, and in the redesign of Carlsberg Black Gold, also by Kontrapunkt. Black Gold is a dark pilsner, brewed in the same manner as Carlsberg’s premium variety, only for longer, giving it a richer flavour profile and higher alcohol content. This difference is conveyed immediately using a black and gold print finish.

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