Contributed by Mike Spakowski of Missouri-based Atomicdust.
St. Louis’s Pastaria, the highly anticipated third restaurant from three-time James Beard Award nominee Gerard Craft, was envisioned as an environment where kids, adults, and food enthusiasts alike could enjoy a fantastic meal. Gerard described his vision in St. Louis Magazine:
“I see this as a kind of town hall — a lively, convivial place where people see their friends and neighbors and will get up to go visit with them. In Italy, it’s called an osteria — no tablecloths, nothing too fancy, but it’s where everybody goes to have supper and everybody’s equal.”
When Atomicdust was brought on board to brand Pastaria, we decided to build the brand’s visual identity around hand-drawn type and illustrations that would reflect the restaurant’s unpretentious, friendly atmosphere. Gerard had a very family-focused attitude when it came to the restaurant, so everything needed to be a little playful, a little handcrafted, but polished — just like Pastaria.
The logo’s red dot was inspired, simply, by pasta sauce. Its slightly irregular shape calls back to its origins as a splatter (rather than a circle).
The bright and whimsical concept was further expressed with youthful illustrations, including a three-wheeled delivery truck, children enjoying pasta wrapped around oversized forks, and anthropomorphized noodles (with names like Gustavo Garganelli and Roberto Rigatoni).
Materials included menus, to-go pizza boxes, stickers, check holders, t-shirts, olive oil labels, and wooden nickles that could be traded for gelato.
We also designed Pastaria’s website, optimized for viewing on iPads and mobile devices.
View more brand identity work on the Atomicdust website.