Na Lato is a restaurant located in Warsaw's Powisle district (the central part of Warsaw along the Vistula river). Translated from Polish, the name of this restaurant is "For the summer" because the venue was first started as a spontaneous summertime spot for good music and drinks. After a about a year, the venue underwent a huge transformation into the restaurant it is today.
The owners of Na Lato have managed to combine a couple functions in one venue. It's a restaurant, but they also sell in-house produced bread and pizza, they also have a bar, a wine shop and on the weekends they transform the place into a small club. Their first concern was regarding the name. They were not sure if it's a good idea to use the same name even though their restaurant has now become a year-round place. Their second concern and hope was to somehow convey the multipurpose of the place in the branding. They wanted to show that Na Lato is a good place for a dinner, but at the same time you can have a delicious pizza or wine to take out, or even hang around and have a couple drinks in the bar and maybe stay till the evening for a night out.
My recommendation was to keep the name. The venue had worked for about a year at this point and the name was already a brand in itself. In my opinion, it was actually a nice touch to keep the original name, which had good associations and build on top of itself. I also came up with a solution that would imply the multi-purpose character of the place.
The owners wanted to indicate that their venue is capable of serving multiple purposes and I was asked to somehow indicate that in my branding. At this point there was nothing more than the name itself. When thinking about how to go about this issue I focused on the name itself. Na Lato means "For the summer". Then it came to me; Phrases starting with "For" can be ended with a wide variety of words. "For the summer"? "For a pizza"? Or maybe "For a drink"? "For the summer" as a name was already inadequate since the whole place was now working 7 days a week, all year around. I decided that we should use this opportunity and design the logotype so that we could convey a few, different messages in a similar, recognizable form.
I designed a logo that consists of a condensed, elegant typography. Word "Lato" ("Summer") is placed in a frame, which allows us to treat both words separately. This simple frame became a vehicle to use different messages such as "For the autumn", "For some wine", "For a date", "For pizza" and so on. At this point we had a very clean, very distinguishable design which was modifable and as such answered the main request in the brief - to illustrate variety of the brand. Another move was to design an "added value", a second, option-able layer of the design.I wanted the whole thing to look elegant but not snobby, timeless but also not boring. I was looking for something that would be a good, but not mandatory addition to my new design. The owners of the venue suggested that it would be great to have some sort of old/vintage drawing. During my research I found an 18th century illustration depicting a running fox. It was a good match since it not only looked good but for me it also symbolized a second, more rebellious nature of the venue. It added a nice dynamism to the vertical design. I took the original illustration and using hand, in Illustrator I made a completely new drawing, leaving nothing from the original. I also drew a loaf of bread in fox's mouth, which is a reference to the bakery located in the venue. The fox can be used with the original typography or separately.
The stationary designed for Na Lato consists of: business cards, letterhead, a thank you note and a set of stickers. Additional materials I designed were a fabric-covered menu and a bill folder. All materials use black and Pantone 116U. Business cards and thank you notes have additional UV coating over the Pantone. It gives a very nice additional dimension to the prints, which are made on a Munken Pure Rough, a very nice and widely available warm white paper.
I wanted the business cards to stand out a bit more so I came up with the idea to leave them in stripes and add a vertical perforation in between. This allowed the client to keep sets o 7 business cards in one stripe and tear off each business card for each person. I believe that it’s good if the act of giving a business card grabs another person’s attention; This can be achieved either by the design itself or by the way it’s done. Hopefully, this business card will be memorable not only for it’s looks but also for how it’s being torn off and presented to other people.
Another part of the project was to decorate the set of windows that make up a one wall of the venue. I was really eager to do it in some other form than applying foil on the glass. I was hoping to find someone to actually paint my designs by hand on glass. The difference between foil and paint can be subtle but correctly applied paint looks in my opinion much better. There are still a couple old repair shops and other small places in Warsaw from “the previous era” that still have a hand-painted signage but currently this form of advertising is nonexistent. I found one man who did paint windows in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s but and after the tests with paint currently available in the shops failed, he gave up. After some time, through my friend I found another person who already did some wall and glass painting for other bars and shops in Warsaw. We did some tests with scratch/temperature resistant paint that you would normally use on metal surfaces etc. and decided to give it a try at Na Lato.
Beneath you can see a short movie I did that shows some stages of the process (It’s not me on the pictures. It’s Marek who was hired to do the painting).
The final part of my project is a set of photographs I took during a spontaneous session in Na Lato’s kitchen. I was trying to show a more personal side of the place by showing who is preparing the dishes.