Pentagram’s “factory aesthetic” identity for Gato

Published:  April 29, 2014
Lucy Waddington

Inside a warehouse on Lafayette Street, NY, Gato has formed — a new restaurant with a Mediterranean menu by chef Bobby Flay. The branding and visual identity of the restaurant has been created by Pentagram’s Michael Beirut and his team, having previously worked with Flay on his other restaurant projects, brasserie Bar Americain and popular fast-casual chain Bobby’s Burger Palace.

Celebrating the industrial surroundings, Beirut’s team developed the identity to complement the restaurant’s vivid cuisine and “factory aesthetic”, which echoes through the use of raw wood, metal and stone in the restaurant’s cavernous interior.

Looking to the distinctive characteristics of the building, Beirut’s team developed several logo sketches, including ideas that evoked the red awning on the restaurant façade and the blue and white hexagonal tiles in the space, and loser-formed typography inspired by the Joan Miró.

As the word Gato is unfamiliar to many English-speakers, Beirut’s team reported that they prioritised legibility when designing the logo, and decided on the typeface Lisbon, which itself was inspired by street signs of the Mediterranean. The G was customised with a unique ball terminal, and typewriter font Pitch was chosen as a secondary typeface.

Responding to the tactile interior, the stencil-like logo echoes the building’s previous life as a warehouse, and sign painters from okMitch Studio hand-applied the logo to the restaurant windows with copper foil, and “approximated” the altered Lisbon for distressed signage on the restaurant walls.

Project Team: Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Jesse Reed, designer. Photos by Martin Seck.

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