Gander brands Mercado Famous, New York’s emerging Spanish meat connoisseurs
Using a regal blue colour palette and heritage typefaces, Gander gives Mercado Famous a uniquely-Spanish look and feel.
- Daniel Milroy Maher
- 18 July 2022
Iberian meats are some of Spain’s most iconic exports, with a long history that dates back centuries. Over the years, they’ve found their way to nearly every corner of the world, but in the US, high-quality cuts are hard to find. So emerging brand Mercado Famous set about changing that, by sourcing and providing some of the country’s best-kept secrets. The founders, Chinese duo Carmen Chen Wu and Aaron Luo – both of whom are Spanish-born and New York-based – wanted to bring their findings to a US audience and needed some eye-catching branding to do so.
They chose local design studio Gander for the task, who helped to develop a brand system that feels forward-facing, whilst paying respect to the rich heritage of Mercado Famous’ products. “Mercado Famous came to us with the challenge of creating a brand system for them that felt authentically Spanish, and could be an ambassador of Jamon to American audiences,” says Gander co-founder Mike McVicar. “Part of that was to communicate the unique relationship that Spanish culture has with food, hospitality, and festivity.”
Alongside these visual elements was the close attention paid to the quality of the food itself, showing that Iberian ham is “the best of the best” through a brand voice that is “confident almost to the point of audacity.” This spirit also comes through in the illustrations, which are inspired by the plethora of regal imagery that the Gander team found during their research. Much of this research revolved around the branding used by classic European butchers and delicatessens, who often employ a single consistent colour throughout – hence Mercado Famous’ bold, blue palette.
However, the typography is where the branding truly shines. Using a mix of contemporary typefaces, such as GT Walsheim, as well as a selection from Jeff Levine – who has created thousands of fonts based on esoteric and vintage sources – the team achieved a beautiful final result that feels reminiscent of the signage found in Spanish cities such as Barcelona. As with the rest of the visual system, the typography balances tradition and modernity – fitting for a brand such as Mercado Famous.
Gander: Mercado Famous (Copyright © Gander, 2022)
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.