Meraki is a new contemporary Greek restaurant in Fitzrovia, London, inspired by island life but with a refined execution. We were commissioned by the Waney family to come up with an identity for their new restaurant.

Meraki Greek islands
Greek island formations.

There are six key island formations in Greece and this became the inspiration for the menu designs, created using a medley of finishes and textures. Five of the formations are used on the food menus with the sixth being used on the wine menu.

Meraki menu sketches
Menu sketches.
Meraki Greek islands
Gouache was used for a handmade feel.

Painting the island shapes gave a nice sharp yet handmade feel that we enjoyed. We wanted it to look a bit terrazzo in style because this was a material used in the interior, and is a classic Mediterranean texture. It took a little while to get there without just drawing the shapes in Illustrator.

Meraki Restaurant menu
The six island formations are displayed over the food menus to give each guest a different design.
Meraki Restaurant menu
Various colours and textures from the restaurant interior were used in the terrazzo representation.

As a predominantly fish restaurant the emphasis on the sea was important, and the M of Meraki lent itself to relevant symbolism. It works in the context of the islands but also as a pattern in its own right.

Meraki logo sketches

The drawings of the M wave show a form of designer madness where we kept drawing it over and over (also in different mediums) expecting a different result. We’re sure all designers can relate! One of the sketches showed wavy text but sometimes simpler is better so we pared it back, combining the M with the brand name set in Produkt by Commercial Type — we liked its attractive but functional quality.

Meraki Restaurant signage
Neon sign on the exterior facade showing the shorthand wave M.

The restaurant exterior is a dark navy and has traditional architectural elements, so for contrast we commissioned Spectrum to make the Meraki M out of bright white neon.

Materials were key, from the bright white textured menu paper (Zen from G F Smith) which emulated Greek architecture to the vibrant blue paper used on the bar menus, evocative of Greek church roofs and the mediterranean sea.

Meraki Restaurant menu
The wave M can be made into a continuous line to represent the Mediterranean ocean.

Meraki bar London

A pale, grey leather was used for the wine menus, with raw edges and lined with coated Buckram book cloth. White elastic was fitted through nickel eyelets, and the outer was then foil-blocked in four colours.

Meraki Restaurant menu
The wine menu is embossed and foiled with one of the formations.

We worked with Boss Print for the majority of the menus, with Progress Packaging for the leather wine menus.

Meraki Restaurant business cards
Business cards were printed with a blue foil of the continuous M wave.

Meraki Restaurant interior

Designed by Dutchscot.

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May 14, 2018

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