In the spring of 2016, award-winning chef Gerard Craft surprised everyone when he announced the acclaimed Niche would be closing. The St Louis-based restaurant was still at the top of its game, drawing crowds and winning accolades. But Craft was ready for something new.
As Niche’s doors closed, Craft shared with us his vision for Sardella. Sardella is ancient Italian sauce made from sardines, but Craft wasn’t opening a seafood restaurant. Instead, he described the food and decor as unexpected, yet familiar; traditional, yet brand new.
For our design, that meant bright pops of colour and a sense of movement to complement the restaurant’s decor. The menu fuses the beautiful and functional, presenting the ever-changing range of dishes on a stunning board that echoes the restaurant’s decor.
Initial Sardella logo experiments.
Our early logo explorations used the restaurant’s namesake — Sardella is ancient Italian sauce made from sardines – as a key visual. Moving forward, though, we knew we needed to broaden its appeal. To make sure people knew it was a fun, casual place. To clarify that it’s not a seafood restaurant. To capture the vibe while letting the food speak for itself.
On the Sardella website, we gave big, eye-catching photos of the bold, beautiful food room to shine. The site gives people a taste of what to expect, combined with splashes of unexpected colour and motion.
Since Sardella opened in November 2016, the restaurant and its design have received rave reviews. The menu design for Sardella was honored at the 2017 American Advertising Awards.
Interior design by Sasha Aleksandr Malinich.
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