This branding system is all about duality - bakery and bistro, day and night, the comfort and radical reinvention. Restaurateur Dan Kirsh commissioned New York studio Mucca with the challenge of creating a brand for two restaurants in one: a bistro and bakery.
Kirsh has radically reimagined traditional French toast. Dan Kirsh’s inspired reinvention of the classic breakfast staple as a culinary exploration sets the stage for dedicated gourmands to have unique gastronomic experiences at any hour of the day or night.
This Upper West Side destination is stylish and vibrant, from the striking ambience to the exquisite packaging to the deliciously beautiful presentation, all of which are the result of the same fusion of styles and textures that work together so seamlessly in Kirsh’s one-of-a-kind creation.
"A typical bistro this is not, and its unique dual personality drove our approach to the brand design. We created a strong two-tone colour palette to represent the bakery + kitchen concept, and a modern illustration style that cues diners to expect something new."
Beautifully detailed signage, product design, well thought out menu's all inform an immersive customer experience - Each detail in the Kirsh branding system (and interior fit-out) is well considered and carefully crafted including a custom gothic typeface called Grotto.
Matteo Bologna, (Mucca's founder and creative director) loves to design type to solve specific branding needs, or, as in this case, he will use a branding project to test and improve a work-in-progress typeface. With Grotto, Matteo began experimenting with multiple masters in Glyphs, to create in his words, a “non-boring grotesque”.
The mid-weight beta versions and the modular system, used in the Kirsh brand are specific to the project, but its design is intimately linked to a larger family of Grotto Grotesques under development at Mucca which range from "a quirky light ultra-condensed to some chunky heavy expanded weights."
Grotto's design and development is a collaborative effort; Creative Director Matteo Bologna is supported by Art Director/Designer: Erica Heitman-Ford, and designers Alexis Reid, Rachael Miller and Amber Case.
Mucca Type Designer Luisa Baeta explains that by using their custom typefaces on real projects they can make modifications to fit those specific brand needs, and to also test performance and out where there is room for improvement. "Aside from Kirsh, Grotto has so far been used on two other projects: a book called Visual Dictionary: Beppe Giacobbe, designed by Massimo Pitis and Federica Marziale, and coincidentally a project in Australia, the Dance Massive Festival posters designed by Mike Giesser."
Matteo writes "Over the years, designing type has become more about the journey than the destination. My endless travel in the lands of curve bending, letter spacing, and obsessive kerning (without a deadline in sight) has become far more rewarding than seeing an end result."
After years of creating and testing custom type for branding applications, Mucca's typographic pedigree is impressive. So the studio are working to slowly but surely publish their type catalogue (and a number of unfinished type projects fallen victim to 'chronic procrastination') as retail ready fonts through muccaTypo.
"This foundry is an experiment born out of the necessity to exhume many years of type design left in the depths of my hard drive that have never seen the light of the day. Spring cleaning. Not bad as mission statement, is it?"