Réplica bring “full party mode” to Café Rico with an energetic, vibrant and inclusive identity
Barcelona, Bogotá and Miami-based design studio Réplica have captured a charming concoction of personality and typographic rigour in their identity for Bogotá’s Café Rico. “We are clearly influenced by our Latin American context and melodrama,” Réplica explain, discussing the sheer vibrancy and excess of the brand’s use of colour. “We usually have to tone down things a bit, because our colour combinations almost always start as a full tropical party,” Réplica add, however noting that “with Café Rico we wanted to channel their effortless and happy attitude with an energetic, vibrating, and inclusive palette.” In doing so, the team succeeded in crafting a palette where the individual colours work as powerfully solo as they do with one another – or as Réplica put it; “full party mode.”
Emblazoning the identity, and visually summarising the brand as a whole, is the liberal use of charming smiley faces throughout – exemplifying the joy of being at the café in question, and the attitude behind those running it. “Café Rico is all about enjoying life,” Réplica explain, “from simple mundane things to maximising details;” something further developed using the expression ‘Qué Rico’ in the strapline, meaning something ‘really nice!’ “The layered application aims to expand its use as a communal experience,” Réplica add, an essential part of the La Comuna project – the concept store in the culinary neighbourhood of Chapinero where Café Rico is found.
Further along these lines, the café serves goods from the local bakery, meals using local produce, and showcases the work of local creatives, with everything on show up for sale. The overall impact, as displayed in the welcoming tone of the identity, is a place for the community, by the community. “The audience is expressed by a manifesto at the entrance of the building, aimed to amplify inclusion and diversity,” Réplica explain, specifically noting “in this place, we don’t discriminate by either race, religion, sexual orientation, physical or socioeconomic conditions, or by any other means”.
Providing an incredibly supportive structure that allows the candidness of the colours and expressions to be successful is Réplica’s lovely combination of typefaces; which have a characterful nature similar to the rest of the brand, as well as a graphic sturdiness courtesy of the typefaces’ über-interrogated and powerful construction. Opting for Menoe Grotesque by Hungarumlaut Type Foundry as the main typeface and Whyte by Dinamo as secondary typeface, Réplica tell us “we’ve been fans of both foundries’ typefaces and work for a while,” adding “we wanted to use a monospaced typeface for the logo and applications, but we wanted one that could balance expressiveness with a close and friendly vibe.” Finding Menoe a perfect denotation of their ‘Qué Rico’ strapline, due to its beautiful yet quickly structure, Réplica explain “we used Whyte to tone down and balance things out sometimes,” acting more as the messaging workhorse rather than an expressive element. “We really like Dinamo’s approach to grotesques,” Réplica conclude, “they focus a lot on details and expressiveness, which we love.”