Oddity’s systematic identity for The Old Man connects cocktails with Ernest Hemingway’s writing
Having garnered cult status within Hong Kong’s bar scene over the four years since its launch, cocktail hotspot The Old Man sought the help of Hong Kong-based creative studio Oddity to celebrate their anniversary with an identity refresh. Comprehensively crafted from the ground up, the resulting visual concept is directed by the notion of ageing, explicitly championing the idea that, like wine and spirits, things get better with age.
This poetic motif directs not only the metaphorical associations with the brand but also informs Oddity’s complex and expressive typography systems, leaning on a reinvigorated vintage typewriter aesthetic. Finding art within analogue imperfections, Oddity digitally introduced similar unconventional typographic quirks, such as the exaggerated tilts of the letterforms and the delicately flawed curves of the identity’s fluid inclusion of Ernest Hemingway’s writing. Providing a contemporary twist on the aesthetic and conceptual conventions of hospitality brands and the way we consume the literary giant’s masterpieces.
“It was always a part of the brief to make a visual connection between cocktails and books,” Founder and Creative Director Alice Mourou tells us, challenged with including a vast amount of practical information alongside the brand’s storytelling. “Instead of the classic designer’s fight for a shorter copy, we saw an opportunity to use these stories provided for each cocktail as additional graphics,” Mourou explains, detailing the origin of the identity’s typographic patterns. “We already used texts as patterns for their bottle labels before,” she adds, “so it was an evolution to explore what shapes and forms it could take this time,” also finding shapely inspiration for the bar’s logomark within the physical space of the building itself.
The variable, systematic logomark in question responds and morphs to its given environment, finding its inspiration in the tactile shape of The Old Man’s bar top. “The Old Man old symbol was inspired by the shape of their iconic bar counter,” Mourou concludes, “that is why we decided to develop the new system from it.” Incorporating a sophisticated but robust typographic system that champions material subtleties – be it the striking argent sign or the accented metallic inks of the cocktail sheets.