By David Airey
Contributed by Mike Spakowski of Missouri-based Atomicdust.
After successful collaborations on Pastaria and Niche, we were proud to reunite with Gerard Craft and his team on a new “build your own” fast-casual restaurant called Porano Pasta. The “build your own” concept, typically associated with Mexican-inspired cuisine, is something most people are used to. What they aren’t used to is a fast-casual concept powered by a James Beard Award-winning chef.
At Porano, guests mix and match a set menu of pastas, sauces, proteins and toppings; accordingly, we wanted to provide a branding system that balanced structure and surprise.
As we began to experiment with the logotype, we considered the fact that every time you visit Porano, you can use the same ingredients to create something entirely new. Inspired by an “art deco”-style typeface we found in ABC3D, a pop-up alphabet book by Marion Bataille, we designed a flexible logo full of versatile elements. The letter styles used both for the logo and the in-store signage vary throughout the space without breaking the branding system.
Working side-by-side with Craft and architect Sasha Malinich of CASCO, we expanded the spirit of the logotype into the space itself, mixing modern and midcentury graphics to create a look that’s uniquely Porano. One wall graphic, inspired by artist and illustrator Miroslav Sasek, combines illustrations of Italian buildings with images of St. Louis; another uses simple textures and shapes to approximate a map of the city of Porano.
The website showcases graphic elements from the brand and photos of the food. Dishes animate in and out, capturing the spirit of the restaurant and the sheer variety of combinations available.
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Read more here:: Porano Pasta