Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson

Brand Identity

Identity for the restaurant at the new Perelman Performing Arts Center in Lower Manhattan.

Metropolis by Marcus Samuelsson is a contemporary American restaurant from the celebrated chef and restaurateur, set within the new Perelman Performing Arts Center (PAC NYC) in Downtown New York. The brand identity by Pentagram draws on the unique design of Metropolis and its location at the crossroads of Lower Manhattan.

The restaurant is the final component and culinary anchor of the new cultural cornerstone at the World Trade Center site. Described by The New York Times as “a spectacular work of public architecture,” PAC NYC is an elegant lantern-like cube with a thin marble façade that glows from within. Located just inside the building’s entrance, Metropolis has been designed by Rockwell Group with an open, airy feeling that encompasses a 135-seat dining room and bar, a landscaped outdoor terrace and a lobby lounge that hosts free-to-the-public artistic programming.

The diverse menu explores the rich culinary traditions of New York City through a modern lens, appropriate for a restaurant that occupies a special place in the heart of downtown, steps from where the most transportation lines in the city converge at Fulton Center and across from the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The area is evolving to become a true neighborhood, and PAC NYC features a public staircase that doubles as a “stoop” where people can hang out before and after performances. This accessible and welcoming spirit is reflected in the restaurant tagline developed by Pentagram, “Meet Me at Metropolis.”

The visual language for Metropolis is similarly simple, friendly and inviting. The logo is inspired by the massive steel beams that separate the dining room and lounge near the entrance of the restaurant. On their first visit to the site, the Pentagram designers noticed that these trusses form a perfect “M” shape. The wordmark pairs the symbol with the contrasting serif typeface Ivar Display (by Letters from Sweden) to spell out the name.

The “M” can be multiplied and repeated to form a graphic pattern or texture for menus, ties and other applications. The parallelograms of the symbol may also be isolated to create a forward slash, or used to form other letters.

Primarily grounded in neutral shades of black and white, the brand palette nods to the subtle colors of the luminous marble skin of PAC NYC, which appears as a warm gray during the day, then turns an incandescent amber and brown at night.

New York
Michael Bierut
Project team
Chris Guerrero
Camila Pérez
Abby Matousek
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