With a punchy brand identity, creative agency Neighbour bring the heat to East London’s Sichuan Fry
Located near London Fields in East London, Sichuan Fry is a new restaurant dedicated to crunchy, spicy fried chicken. Created by the team behind London eateries Dumpling Shack and Fen Noodles, this new establishment builds upon their flavorful expertise and established fan base. To distinguish Sichuan Fry from its sister companies, owners John and Yee Li enlisted the help of fellow Londoners, multi-disciplinary creative agency Neighbour, to develop the brand’s identity and website. They achieve this with a bold, playful look and an adaptable design system, which the studio will continue to develop as the business grows.
The personality of the brand is captured through the typographic pairing of Nuform Type’s BRZO and Grilli Type’s GT Pressura Mono. At the very onset, BRZO set the tone for the identity – an impactful sans serif, and “a playful typeface with a really nice personality,” as described by Senior Designer Josh Epstein-Richards. “We had an early version of BRZO that we were using when we initially started our first ideas for the project,” he tells us, reflecting on the choice. “We got in touch with Erik Marinovich at Nuform Type to see if he was planning on releasing an update, as at that time, there were many glyphs we wanted to use, which were not available. He was super friendly and shared an update, which meant we could really start exploring how the typeface could work with the route that ultimately formed the final identity.”
As an italics-only type family, it dictated the resulting look – “but both us and Sichuan Fry love the character and personality it allows across all branded touchpoints,” Epstein-Richards adds.“With BRZO being such a powerful headline font, it made sense to use it for the Sichuan Fry wordmark too. We added the flame on top of the letter ‘i’ to emphasise the spicy Sichuan flavours, and the same flame also acts as an icon that features on the website and other branded collaterals.”
The secondary typeface, Grilli Type’s GT Pressura Mono, was selected after exploring potential contrasting options. “We’ve had a fascination with monospaced typefaces and the pairing just seemed to click,” the designer notes. “It was clear Sichuan Fry didn’t require a serious body copy typeface as they keep all their copy pretty short, so this meant we could choose something with more character.” Furthermore, Neighbour helped to enhance the brand’s pre-existing chicken logomark by redrawing it from scratch and introducing symmetry to the design.
As for the colour palette, Epstein-Richards reveals that it was a straightforward task. “Sichuan Fry creates ‘the crunchiest fried chicken with the Sichuan heat’ for their customers,” he says. With this in mind, Neighbour opted for an eye-catching duo of warm red and yellow (colours traditionally used to signify flames), which mirrors the colours of the toothsome, lip-smacking fried chicken.