Zware Jongens devise an “eclectic, sexy, bold but elegant” identity for Italian restaurant GIGI
Zware Jongens are helping to bring Italy to the cities of Belgium – beginning with Ghent, the Amsterdam and Antwerp-based creative studio have crafted the identity for GIGI, an Italian restaurant that proudly boasts a unique mix of cuisine and culture; blurring the lines between nightclub and eatery.
Led with the maxim of ‘6161 Reasons To Be (More) Alive,’ the identity – and indeed the interior, from the mind of designer JP De Meyer – exudes an attitude akin to carpe diem; unapologetically brazen and bold in its approach to typography and graphic expression. This tone is aided by the introduction of David Jonathan Ross’ old-style serif Roslindale alongside URW Type Foundry’s Saa Series C and D – the combination of which not only provides the identity with the necessary mix of technical proficiency and character, but imbues the brand with the appropriate contrast of form and figure. “We were looking for a strong mix,” Founder Filip Janssen tells us, discussing the typographic choice, “eclectic, sexy, bold but elegant.”
This contrast also comes into play for GIGI’s colour palette, whereby Zware Jongens turned to the spatial concept behind the restaurant for inspiration as well as cohesion. “We wanted the spatial concept and the branding concept to blend, not to conflict,” Janssen explains, noting this as the explanation why most of the internal ephemera – such as uniforms and table cloths – are more neutral compared to the external applications. “It makes it all feel ‘fully alive’ just like the restaurant experience,” he remarks, “also the future GIGI locations or concept variations might have different special colour expressions,” Janssen adds.
GIGI’s botanical cherry-on-top comes in the form of their floral logomark. “It’s inspired by the roses being sold in restaurants and the descriptor ‘cucina amorosa,’” Janssen concludes, “it enforces the Italian vibe, adds some sex appeal to the brand;” encapsulating the extravagance and unapologetic character of the restaurant itself.