Magpie Studio goes scientific and “slightly f**ked up” for a cocktail bar identity

For Seed Library, Magpie swerves literal approaches – “no pictures of seeds or libraries” – and draws from blackholes and mathematics.

16 March 2022

As if Brits needed further reason to feel a bit dizzy in a bar, Magpie Studio has just produced an identity jam-packed with hypnotic patterns for a new East London cocktail spot, Seed Library. Brilliantly hamming up the concept of the science behind mixology, the design draws on complex scientific diagrams and mathematical concepts to mirror Ryan Chetiawardana’s, Seed Library’s owner, approach to cocktails.

While a bold orange colour palette aims to keep the identity striking, subtler details appear throughout. “The small copy that intertwines the patterns is an excerpt about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity – specifically a section on black holes,” Magpie Studio tells It’s Nice That. “This was a nod to Ryan’s scientific background and also – in an abstract way – related to the weird and wonderful processes the Lyan team go through in discovering alternative flavour sources.”

For inspiration on the work, the studio turned to vintage science manuals and complex patterns in nature to create visuals that felt both “incredibly technically complex and ordered” while also “beautiful and organic”. For type, the studio opted for the fitting Ambit, as a clean modern sans serif based on old classics. While “lo-fi” and “analogue” are key aims for the project, the studio wanted to create clean final patterns for the work, particularly when featured as animations.

In a release, Magpie states: “Over the years, we’ve got to know how to translate what’s in Ryan’s head, however abstract and eclectic that might be! He felt that Seed Library should feel ‘stripped back, clean and bold but slightly f**ked up’. It’s definitely the most abstract work we’ve done with him but it’s been fun and really liberating – we’ve netted out on biomechanics meets rave poster!”

GalleryMagpie Studio: Seed Library identity (Copyright © Lore Group and Ryan Chetiawardana, 2022)

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Magpie Studio: Seed Library identity (Copyright © Lore Group and Ryan Chetiawardana, 2022)

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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 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.

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