It’s all well and good writing about slick, big-client, big-agency graphic design. But once in a while it’s bloody lovely to cast our eyes over a graphic design project that takes itself not-so-seriously. One photographed using Polaroid, and sent to us as if broadcast directly from amidst a 90s Kevin Smith film. The projection questions is the visual identity for Baohaus – a restaurant that takes its name as a smart little play on, er, bauhaus and Bao – the form of Taiwanese food the restaurant specialises in.
As if straight off a fuzzy 1995 VHS feel-good movie, the designer behind the branding, Eli Rosenbloom, is good pals with the duo behind the restaurant, Evan Huang and his brother. Another amigo of Eli’s, whom he describes only as “my buddy Dan from back home in Minneapolis” turns to to be a third generation sign painter, and so the team got started creating some rather wonderful signage, menu boards, and prints for Baohaus. The result is this great blue and white look – one that’s gorgeous in its simplicity and directness, and crucially, in its capturing of the sort of laid-back nonchalance that big agency projects will forever try to ape in vain.
“This project was fun, it was something that kind of just happened. This wasn’t some agency thing, branded content, or whatever, we had money for the materials, that’s it,” Eli explains. “I was in art school, Dan had just started his own business, and Evan was a 23-year-old managing a restaurant on 14th street. I lived a block away from Evan and his brother in the East Village so working on this project was kind of like the after school special haha.”
We imagine that the work was created between lot of saying “dude," watching Adult Swim, skateboarding and slurping from those cute little beers Americans drink; but however it was made, it’s very, very charming.
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