Contributed by Chris Ritter, partner at Kentucky-based BLDG.
Sotto is an authentic Italian trattoria with a culinary style based on the idea of malfatti. Literally translated into English as “poorly made,” malfatti is symbolic for the Italian ideal that the best meals are simple, straightforward dishes made from the highest quality ingredients. Malfatti is never about achieving perfection, but producing a hand-crafted dish that leaves evidence of the cook’s touch.
The identity created for Sotto needed to be unmistakably Italian and give the restaurant concept a modern aesthetic. Taking design influence from the Futurist movement of early 20th century Italy was a natural fit to give the concept relevance and enough flexibility to create an array of organic compositions that fit the malfatti ideal.
We used a bunch of different typefaces on the menu, all are authentic to the time period of Italian Futurism. We used a mix of Block Berthold, Bureau Grotesque, ITC Caslon 224, and Jenson. The sketched typeface was drawn in-house and the logo is a redrawn version of Block Berthold.
The project took us approximately two months to go from concept to restaurant opening.