Monopo’s Renaissance-ready identity for Babette’s warmly welcomes a return to culinary indulgence
Operating internationally, with further studios in NYC and Tokyo, Monopo’s London studio have crafted the conceptually indulgent, exuberant identity for Babette – a grocery service providing top-quality, chef-selected produce. Taking its name from such feasts, Babette and its brand harken back to bountiful baroque banquets, whereby a hedonistic, Renaissance-inspired approach to food and consumption were embraced.
“Babette’s aims to portray food with grandeur,” Creative Director Mélanie Hubert-Crozet tells us, “we’re a bit over the top, and we know it and play with it,” she adds, introducing subtle graphic allusions to the fact. “Using arch-esque shapes was a way to frame ingredients and visuals to put them on a pedestal,” Hubert-Crozet explains, aesthetically hinting at their importance. “Graphically, we wanted to make a modern reference to royal paintings,” she notes, elevating the food to an almost religious status in doing so. “However, Babette is not a brand that takes itself seriously,” Hubert-Crozet caveats, “the stars are sprinkled within the brand to bring a bit of playfulness and light-hearted details,” championing the human, social side of sitting down and eating together.
The characterful-meets-gluttonous tone of the brand is no greater evidenced than through its warm, welcoming and curvaceous wordmark – built upon a customised cut of NJ Type’s Nord. “Throughout our creative process, we explored many typographic directions for the logo,” Hubert-Crozet recalls, “initially, we found ourselves drawn to typefaces with a lot of flourishing and Romanesque details,” drawn to a typically ‘Renaissance’ feel. “In the end, the selected typography features fewer embellishments compared to alternative options,” she continues, “but the contrast when associated with Renaissance visuals and dramatic photography feels strong,” creating a compelling contrast between contemporary and classic counterparts.
Supporting Nord’s rounded construction is Sharp Type’s Ogg as the secondary typeface – the calligraphy-inspired italic forms of which provide a refined tone. “As we selected a bold sans serif typeface for the wordmark, we wanted to create contrast and bring the Romanesque feel,” Hubert-Crozet explains, praising Ogg’s decorative details. “It feels indulgent, like a feast,” she adds, implementing the cursive serif as part of the brand’s “cheeky tone of voice,” meanwhile returning to its Renaissance references in the complementary use of colour.
“We aimed to create an appetising colour palette,” she remarks, using rich, dark hues reminiscent of the Dutch Masters that culminate in a collection both dramatic and joyful. Hubert-Crozet concludes, “it feels cosy, like joining a royal banquet in a baroque interior in the winter.”