Earthy palettes and unfinished plates; Hato whips up a warming, home-cooked identity for Depop founder’s food app

To brand Delli, the “new digital destination of good food”, the design practice tucks into the history of the American deli.

9 May 2022


Design practice Hato is no stranger to making great food look even more more-ish. After rounding up 46 of the most delicious-looking dishes from film history for their 2021 publication Cooking with Scorsese and Others, the studio is cooking up a storm once more – and what a client it’s sharing the kitchen with. Late last year, news hit the foodie world that Depop founder Simon Beckerman was launching a new digital venture: Delli, an app connecting people who want to buy, sell and discover good food produce through “drops”. After much anticipation, Hato has just delivered its new look – a laid-back, American deli-inspired concoction that has us asking for seconds.

With the app’s aim to create community through food, delis were a fitting place to start. “The evolution of the deli in America connects with a strong sense of community and social love for food,” Hato tells It’s Nice That. “Deli’s sold specialty ingredients for ethnic minorities in particular, they produced their own goods and were a space for the community to relate and socialise as well as get their weekly groceries.” Particularly researching delis set up between the late 1800s to early 1900s by Jewish immigrants, Hato found the natural next step was to focus on the lineage of the deli. Design-wise, this history emerges subtly throughout the brand, apparent in elements such as the American Gothic typography used for the wordmark.

The photography for Delli plays a particularly important part in shaping the brand’s communal, approachable ethos, and Hato has harnessed some refreshing methods to get there. Rather than overly directed or too-tightly composed shots, the Delli brand is packed full of point-and-shoot-style photography, often incorporating flash to suggest “spontaneous moments in time”, says Hato. With a focus on genuine scenarios involved in cooking, such as preparing and eating food, the studio says that when viewing the photographs “the onlooker should feel like they were there”. For the first set of campaign images, Hato hopes to pair individual emerging photographers with chefs or sellers, focusing on complimenting the natural style of the seller with that of the photographer. In typical Depop fashion, photography will play a major role on the Delli app, helping to showcase produce in a visually immersive way.


Hato: Delli (Copyright © Hato, 2022)

Elsewhere, bright, warm tones shape the colour palette. The inspiration being rooted in the basic elements of growing real food – like earth – but with a twist. Hato has mixed these shades with the palettes of Enzo Mari and Bruno Munari as well as artists such as Louise Bourgeois, “whose work and use of colour has a similar raw and honest approach,” explains the studio. Finally, for iconography, projects like The Starving Artists Cookbook were utilised as grounding reference points.

With a brand that feels so inviting and easy-going, one might assume the process behind the work followed a similar path. But Hato assures us there were still some dashes in the process; “Several months after the start of the project, Hato were tasked with rethinking the core function of the Delli app”, the studio reveals. “The founder Simon, had the idea of a drop culture whereby sellers would no longer set up conventional shops selling produce, but sell via time sensitive drops on a daily and weekly basis. During a two day sprint Hato worked to ideate a new DELLI based on the Drop idea, looking at UX and UI specifically whilst also realigning on how this would change the app’s direction and strategy.” We can’t wait to give the final iteration a whirl – with an identity that looks this good, we’re sure we’ll enjoy whatever foodie experience awaits.

GalleryHato: Delli (Copyright © Hato, 2022)

Hero Header

Hato: Delli (Copyright © Hato, 2022)

Share Article

Further Info

About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.