A chonky, friendly neighbourhood mascot steals the show in PLUSMINUS Studio’s identity for Nice Pies
It’s almost impossible to look at Nice Pies’ identity, and not want to give its plump, friendly mascot a big, warm hug. The happy-go-lucky, freshly-baked pie, who can sometimes be spotted donning a chef’s hat, showing off its butt, or skateboarding, sits at the heart of Nice Pies, an eatery that – driven by the lack of quality meat and veggie pies in Berlin – aims to bring the Aussie goodness to their local store, as well as deliver to other bars. To create an identity that feels as freshly handcrafted as their pies, they teamed up with their neighbour PLUSMINUS Studio, who led the design with the friendly mascot and a meaty wordmark.
“We went through countless rounds of iterations for the mascot, from really sketched out versions, more traditional ones, to more cartoon-ish styles, and some extremely over-the-top cute ones,” notes Creative Director Tomas Clarkson. The winding exploration of various styles and levels of complexity culminated in the simple, organic form of the mascot. “We wanted it to be simple so it could become a timeless mark, and organic, to represent the personal and handcrafted quality of the product,” adds Creative Director Armel Bellec.
The chunky form of the mascot is echoed in the wordmark, set in Champ, a striking sans serif from Typeverything. The typeface, which holds a mirror to the bold, friendly and lively spirit of the brand, also lends it a sense of modernity. “The ‘e’ always looks like a smile to me,” notes Clarkson. “We had to tailor it a little bit; dropped the ‘i’ down on the second line for it all to fit together, but it worked perfectly for what we wanted to convey.” Designed to complement the hand-drawn mascot, the wordmark is set in all lowercase characters to look more light and friendly, while spotlighting the quirky features of the typeface “such as the rounded tittle of the ‘i’ which pushes into the stem, and the deep ink traps of the ‘n’ and ‘p,’” notes Bellec.
Along with black and white, Plusminus chose a bright, fresh shade of orange for the brand, inspired by the “first pie photograph we received from Jon, the founder of Nice Pies, which was of his ‘Aussie Meat Pie,’” says Bellec. “The golden crust and the red wine, ground beef gravy led us to try out orange and cream for our main palette.” Future-proofing the identity was also on Plusminus’ minds – expanding on from the Nice Pies label, the venue Nice Berlin hosts weekly events in their garden, while serving up local wines and their pies. This shade of orange, then, “could be repurposed for the Nice Berlin branding, or in future potential wine collaborations,” says Clarkson, underscoring the different details that came together to create the moreish, inviting world for the pie enthusiasts.