Opinion by Richard Baird Posted 3 March 2016
Bockholmengruppen is a Stockholm based restaurant group and owners of both Nytorget 6 and Nybrogatan 38. The group recently expanded, taking over Le Bar and opening Österlånggatan 17 in its place, a modern local restaurant with a menu of home cooked dishes with a twist, located at the centre of Stockholm and attracting locals and tourists alike.
Scandinavian design studio Lobby Design worked with the Bockholmengruppen to create a visual identity that would compliment Österlånggatan 17’s modern interpretation of a traditional local restaurant, express its easy-going and unpretentious atmosphere and convey a sense of good quality. This was achieved through a series of bright and whimsical illustrations and a contrast of type, set across a variety of assets. These included menus, coffee cups, coasters, takeaway packaging, business cards and website.
The illustrative panels, loosely based on anecdotes and people with connections to the restaurant, and with a humorous and surreal quality, deliver bags of character, with an appealing aesthetic panache, rooted in locality, and a playful, storybook quality.
These are distinctive in their rendering, both in form and colour, in their single-frame storytelling, and the way that these have been implemented in print using bright inks and as full bleed images across a variety of surfaces. These secure a clear continuity between touch-points, in print and online, without relying on logo, with memorable character and plenty of variation. These function to set tone, conveying a conviviality and informal quality based around bringing people together.
The loose rendering of illustration also plays out in the choice of Populaire, a hand dawn, condensed, sans-serif with irregular lines. This leans slightly more towards the generic and a default expression of the personable and informal, where image is thoroughly unique, but it is clear and appropriate in its communicative intentions.
In contrast, the logo plays with a more conventional sense of modernity through current, geometric, sans-serif typography, black over white, and a distinctive, smart but clearly very gastro 17. Where this does, to some degree, introduce a formality and perceived value, for the most part this is overwhelmed by the colour and detail of image.
It is, however, worth bearing in mind, that while there is a youthful conviviality to identity, which looks quite intense when placed together, as documented here, the space and furnishings of interior provides balance.