Coffee, Brunch, Wine: how Caterina Appignani gave Italian eatery Mammamia an informal new look
Found within the small town of Imola, Italy, Mammamia is a beloved neighbourhood bar and café. After 20 years in business, and many changes along the way, it was time to update its identity. To make it happen, Mammamia reached out to art director and designer Caterina Appignani. ‘Coffee, Brunch, Wine’ became the brand concept to describe the multifaceted nature of the place and its offerings; accompanied by a visual language that blends classic and contemporary aesthetics.
The wordmark, for example, uses Pangram Pangram’s Telegraph and a letter from Colophon Foundry’s Nib. “Telegraf and Nib are two fonts with two very different, almost opposite souls,” Appignani tells us, explaining the font choices. “The first interprets mid-century contemporaneity, with some very sharp letter strokes and an extremely modern, almost industrial attitude. The second, on the other hand, is a font that speaks of elegance and sharp softness, expressing a strong and at times nostalgic attitude.” This pairing gave the designer a chance to “speak two languages” within the same composition, creating an unexpected rhythm. “The sharpness of both is an important common trait, allowing them to be read as complementary to each other,” she adds.
Considering the brand’s desire for informality, Appignani opted to set the logo’s letters in lowercase. “In this way it is as if the pronunciation should also be softer, more fluid: a single word, without pauses,” she reveals. “Moreover, the visual compactness of the lowercase composition further confirmed this choice.”
Moving onto the supporting typeface, the designer explains that Nib would have created too much typographic contrast in longer form copy. Therefore, Atipo Foundry’s Argesta was chosen as the counterpart to the wordmark duo. It represents the more classic and elegant attitude of the brand, but ensures excellent readability and a balanced contrast with Telegraf.
Turning to Appignani’s colour choices, a natural palette balances the contemporary brand elements and completes the look. The selection of earthy hues is inspired by the natural scenery of the coffee world – one of the brand’s main areas of focus. “Dark green recalls vegetation, brick red recalls the coffee berry, and warm white is the neutral uniting colour,” Appignani recalls. “The café also reflects the identity colours in the walls, furnishings, baristas’ uniforms and small details. The result is a strong consistency between space and visual identity, between product and communication,” she concludes.