In 2013, when The Standard East Village (Hotel) was opening in NYC we were asked to design our studio’s first restaurant branding project. Café Standard would go on to become a relaxed neighborhood spot with yummy food and good vibes.
For the branding we started with red Trade Gothic as a foundation. Besides being one of our favorite faces, its connection to The Standard went back to the early days of the brand, via their logo (that I believe was designed by Tibor Kalman). We wanted each of the four letters of “CAFÉ” to define the corners of any application. This felt like a way to define and frame any content and was a novel graphic approach for a brand—at least at that time.
The rest of the identity centered on a typewriter. In doing research on the immediate neighborhood of the hotel we gravitated to the history of beat poets that lived and wrote nearby. We made a visit to NYC’s only remaining typewriter dealer/repair shop and tested out numerous old models and poured over the unique typographic properties of each. We found a seafoam blue model that worked best and bought it. The next weeks we experimented with the typewriter, making myriad layouts, concrete poetry, compositions, etc. We ended up using many of these on various materials for the Café. Our favorite is the subtle but massive dollar sign made of zeroes that comes with your check at the end of every meal.