The branding for Pei Plus references the floury folds of a dumpling

Like a restaurant crossed with an early Apple ad, the identity for Pei Plus strikes a balance between techy simplicity and warmth.

Date
1 February 2024

There’s a few elements to unpack in the new wordmark for Pei Plus, a Korean and Chinese restaurant based in Madrid which has just undergone a rebrand. You might notice the mark’s rounded curves, which reference the plumpness of a good dumpling. Or the considerable contrast between weights – if you’re prepared to take a leap of faith with us, those crossbars begin to look awfully like a neat central fold line found on a dumpling too.

This careful combo of elements is the handiwork of Lucía Peralta and Marco Cofrades, the graphic designers Pei Plus tapped for its rebrand. “The aim was to create a contemporary and sleek, yet light-hearted and delightful visual identity,” the pair says.

Before Lucía and Marco got involved, the restaurant had used some hand-painted signage. The new brand identity manages to keep hold of some of that homeliness, while combining it with specific modern references. Certain touchpoints, like the merch for example, are reminiscent of early Apple marketing with a large condensed serif header pasted over brand photography – you can read a bit more about the return of that visual here. But Lucía and Marco have opted to warm up any white that you’d traditionally expect to see in this context. The designers say the dusty beige that appears throughout instead references the primary ingredients of dumpling dough: flour and water.

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Lucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades: Casa Pei + creative direction and design (Copyright © Lucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades / Casa Pei +)

This is all underlined by Dinamo’s Favorit Pro, used for body copy and headlines. Lucía and Marco liked the typeface for its “sober elegance”. Finally, the restaurant’s name has been altered; Casa Pei Plus has been shortened to Pei Plus (the Plus references the extra elements the establishment offers beyond Korean cuisine like specialty coffee and curated objects, which presents an interesting tie to streaming brands that often incorporate ‘plus’ into their name too).

Lucía and Marco say they don’t think too much about trends when focusing on branding projects like this, preferring to work solely on the “core soul” of each project. But the pair do think the landscape of food branding has shifted in recent years:

“Since the pandemic, being able to go out has become a precious activity, we value much more the people we are around taking every event as a celebration. We believe this need of joy has been reflected in identities leading them to expand the borders of what was done before and care about every detail of the restaurant; it is no longer only about eating but about having an experience.”

GalleryLucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades: Casa Pei + creative direction and design (Copyright © Lucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades / Casa Pei +)

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Lucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades: Casa Pei + creative direction and design (Copyright © Lucía Peralta & Marco Cofrades / Casa Pei +)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

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

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