The Office Of Overview’s eclectic merch line for Mr Bao celebrates the real stars of the kitchen
London-based creative studio The Office Of Overview have designed the vibrant merch line ‘House Special’ for Mr Bao, an independent Taiwanese restaurant series founded in Peckham, London. Reacting against the cliches of restaurant merchandise, the studio instead developed an exploratory range that considers all the folks that make the restaurant function, thrive and flourish whilst designing within Mr Bao’s existing casual workplace guidelines – those being comfy clothes and no logos.
Inspired by the eclectic landscape of the restaurant itself, the maximal aesthetic takes visual cues from the packaging boxes, sell-by dates, stickers and safety paraphernalia that exist in the space. The result is an energetic and creative expression of functionality and workspaces, capturing a unique perspective that celebrates the reality of catering. A sentiment shared across the line’s t-shirts, featuring in-house illustrations, and the range’s own bespoke logomark.
“The star is a nod towards the stars of a restaurant kitchen, the staff themselves,” The Office Of Overview’s James Sedgwick-Taylor tells us, recalling the bubbly design of the logo. “And towards the symbol of Taiwan, where baos are from, a cherry blossom flower,” he adds, opting for Neue Haas Grotesk for the mark, as well as the brand’s supporting typeface. “We used Neue Haas Grotesk, but we modified it throughout its applications,” Sedgwick-Taylor explains, providing the logomark as an example of the process-led visual language behind the brand.
“We printed it, scanned it, stretched it and put it back together,” he explains, “mimicking the distress typography of shipping box printing that you often see in kitchen storerooms,” which is also heavily featured in Mr Bao. “We’re always interested in the way typography gets destroyed and breaks when no one takes care of it,” Sedgwick-Taylor concludes, mirroring this cavalier, forward-thinking approach to typography across the idiosyncratic and playful arrangements of icon, illustration and detail across House Special.
Neue Haas Grotesk (customised) by Christian Schwartz and Max Miedinger
|Illustration & Motion|