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The Espresso Room

Identity, retail design, loyalty cards and website for a new and already acclaimed coffee bar in central London.

Joseph Harries and I were invited by the owner to develop a graphic identity that reflected his positioning for the business and worked in the unusual premises. The shop space in Great Ormand Street, previously a bookshop, is very small and narrow, and gets a very varied mix of passing trade.

Our solution for the identity and shop front was to make use of what we initially saw as a problem – the unusual trapezium-shaped original Art Deco window imposing on the signage area. We created a geometric shape to fit, which we carried through to the die-cut loyalty cards, a sandwich board and the website. For the typography, we designed bespoke condensed rounded lettering to suggest the feeling of being wedged into a small space.

We also art directed the interior, and with the owner chose a palette of natural browns and blacks, using luxurious plywoods to create a space that seemed honest and unshowy but suggestive of rich creamy coffee, and that had the slightly upmarket quality desired.

Since opening, the Espresso Room has been praised as one of the best independent coffee outlets around, with Time Out voting it the best coffee in central London in February 2010.

Featured in Monocle magazine in October 2009.