La Pecora Bianca

Brand Identity

Brand identity for a farm-to-table Italian restaurant and espresso bar in New York City.

La Pecora Bianca is a new Italian restaurant that serves fresh, delicious and sustainable food inspired by the seasonal farm-to-table fare of rural Italy. A tasty addition to New York’s thriving NoMad neighborhood, the restaurant is the latest project of Mark Barak, a co-owner of the popular West Village eatery Claudette. Pentagram has designed a vibrant identity for La Pecora Bianca that captures the appeal of its healthy, wholesome cuisine and warm, welcoming atmosphere.

La Pecora Bianca emphasizes locally sourced ingredients, and it didn’t need to go far when looking for a graphic identity: the restaurant is located in the historic St. James building at Broadway and West 26th Street, just across the street from Pentagram’s offices. The designers worked closely with Barak to develop branding that felt true to the concept. The graphics needed to be friendly, approachable and charming, but also suitably high end, to convey the quality of cooking.

The restaurant’s name means “the white sheep” in Italian, and the identity centers on the graphic motif of a lamb. Barak had a very specific vision for the mascot—he knew he wanted a sheep that was cute, but not too cute—and the designers worked through several variations before creating a drawing of a lamb that was both sweet and iconic.

The designers also looked at the vernacular typography of classic European eateries, where the name of the restaurant might be informally painted on a wall. For the La Pecora Bianca logotype, the designers wanted a font that showed the touch of the human hand. The wordmark is set in Futura Passata, a softened version of Futura that can be toggled between condensed and expanded alternate widths all in one word. The logotype is accompanied by the tagline “Caffé e Cucina” in handwritten script.

Utilizing a palette of clean white and pastoral sage green, the identity perfectly complements the beautiful interior design by Nema Workshop and Chira de Rege Interiors, which combines a rustic farmhouse aesthetic and clean, contemporary style. The bright, airy space encompasses a long Italian-style espresso bar, whitewashed wood-plank tables, and sea-green metal chairs. The team was invited to incorporate the branding throughout the restaurant, from designing the menus and signage to choosing the tableware and creating the hand-painted tile that lines the open kitchen and bar.

The lively spirit of the graphics suffuses the restaurant in witty, playful touches that surprise and bring a smile. The identity appears on plates, cups and other flatware selected by the team; enjoying a coffee at the espresso bar reveals the logo or a friendly “ciao!” at the bottom of the cup. A promotional postcard reimagines Manhattan as the boot of Italy. The curlicues of the sheep grow into a swirling pattern in the custom tiles. The logo also appears on labels for the wine, and has been hand-painted in gold leaf on the windows and doors. A towering 20-foot-tall version of the sheep announced the restaurant on a construction hoarding that curved around the corner during construction.

The restaurant evolves throughout the day, serving breakfast in the morning before becoming a coffee bar (with its own signature roast from Toby’s Estate) and transitioning into a wine bar by late afternoon and a chic dinner spot at night. These shifts are scheduled in an interior installation of unlacquered brass signage that adds clock hands to letterforms to indicate the times for colazione (breakfast), spuntino (snack), aperitivo, and so on. Outside, dimensional letterforms run across the top of the exterior awnings, establishing a strong graphic presence in an area that is fast becoming Manhattan’s design district.

La Pecora Bianca
Food & Drink
Brand Identity
New York
Emily Oberman
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