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Old Spike Coffee by Commission Studio, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird

Coffee Branding & Packaging – Old Spike Coffee by Commission Studio, United Kingdom

Old Spike is a coffee roastery, subscription service and wholesaler, cafe and social enterprise working with the homeless, located in South East London. It is situated on the site of a former workhouse, a place where the poor would break rocks over metal spikes for food and lodgings, and where the roaster gets its name. With a desire to separate the roastery’s commercial and social activities Commission Studio worked to develop retail and subscription packaging that avoided the conventions of the market, and worked together a sense of the artisanal and wholesome and the eye-catching and luxury.

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High Street Wine Co. by Conductor, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird

Brand identity by UK-based Conductor for High Street Wine Co, a wine bar and shop located in San Antonio's Pearl neighbourhood

High Street Wine Co. is a wine bar and shop located in the Pearl neighbourhood of San Antonio, Texas. UK-based graphic design studio Conductor, working closely with architects Dado Group, created a visual identity that expresses something of the cheerful personality of its hosts, the ambience and community of a busy bar and its distinctive interior design.

Drawing on the name for inspiration Conductor, through colour, type and pattern, find a balance between street markings and signage, and the material qualities and forms of Dado Group’s interior design. Collaborating with Tom Froese, Conductor layer these with an idiosyncratic character and community spirit through a variety of convivial illustrations. These run across menus, coasters and website.

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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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