Jose Houdini and Fabio Florez’s identity for Ayawaskha offsets minimalism with Ecuadorian heritage
Staying local, Madrid-based design duo Jose Houdini and Fabio Florez have developed the identity for Ayawaskha, an Ecuadorian restaurant sat at the heart of the city. Driven by the concept of ‘union,’ and inspired by the name’s origin, the pair began with a monogram and wordmark that architecturally highlights the meaning behind Ayawaskha – whereby ‘Aya’ means spirit and ‘Waskha’ means rope – finding inspiration in the tribal iconography of the Chinchansuyu region.
The result is a powerful, curvaceous integration of contemporary and historical form; whereby the dynamic duo have found a harmony that sees the wordmark referencing and representing its heritage while coming across as fundamentally modern. This edge fully comes to fruition with the inclusion of LATIGO, a local streetwear brand that worked alongside Houdini and Florez to develop Ayawaskha’s uniforms.
“The logotype and monogram were based on Ortica by Colletttivo,” Houdini tells us, “customised to a lighter weight with custom-made ligatures to match Bw Gradual,” he adds. “Bw Gradual for us made a perfect balance between a timeless European look,” Houdini recalls, “and the geometric, rudimental feel linking with Ecuadorian roots and tribes,” whereby the graphic components of its construction are seen coming together, yet the typeface still maintains a “corporate,” functional aesthetic. “Also,” Houdini adds, “the sharp tangents were a feature that somehow reminded us of kitchen knives and ware.”
Brought together by a monochromatic colour palette, Houdini and Florez conveyed the vibrancy of the cuisine through their use of tribal illustrations, with colours taken from Ecuador’s flag. “We tried to find a balance between folklore and minimalism,” Houdini explains, keeping in mind the already colourful nature of the dishes served. “They should be the main focus,” he concludes.