Imperfect is a community restaurant that was created with the aim of helping people at risk of social exclusion to reintegrate into society, by offering personal help and training in catering. It is a local project that aims to serve the community and focuses on reintegrating people into society and work. The brand essence, ‘we love imperfection’, speaks of giving a second chance – it has an impact on everyone who goes through the programme and they clearly learn that although we are all imperfect, we are all useful and valuable.
Sr. y Sra. Wilson created the brand strategy and identity and were in charge of the naming and the design of coordinated elements in the restaurant, as well as the signage. We also helped to design some of the spaces in the restaurant.
We wanted to use design to communicate the message and values of Imperfect, and to help to promote a social project that has an impact on people – on those who take part in this social programme and also on the customers, as they are invited to reflect on and identify with the project when they come to the restaurant.
To develop the branding we drew on the philosophy of the Japanese technique of ‘kintsugi’, which views breakage and repair as part of the history of an object that should be displayed instead of disguised, as this history and transformation makes the object even more beautiful. Imperfect is ‘kintsugi’ applied to people.
We created an identity based on direct messages to users, to raise awareness of how ‘we love imperfection’, to highlight that imperfection can be useful and reused.
Using the aesthetic notion of ‘wabi-sabi’, a Japanese term that highlights ‘the beauty of imperfection’ and that is presented as elements with a natural or rustic look, or elements from nature, we wanted to give all the designed elements a warm composition, with materials that resembled nature, like recycled paper. The identity had to be produced at a low cost, and to reduce the cost of the production of the printed elements we worked with Fedrigoni and Manter.
Imperfect is a clear example of design for good. Using design combined with a low-cost production, we can create the ideal atmosphere that helps to improve society.
Contributed by X-Ray Charles
Photo(s) by Stephen Coles on Flickr.
Contributed by Richard Baird