Stelvio restaurant was opened in Milan and Toronto by people passionate about challenging the usual stereotypes surrounding Italian cuisine. These restaurants needed a branding able to support the dishes that were served and their underlying philosophy: coherent with tradition but beyond superficial projection of what “Italian cuisine” is about, excellent in quality, original in its approach.
Blossom was asked to develop Stelvio’s branding, taking its visual identity to the heights of the culinary promise made to its customers, contributing to making the overall experience of customers memorable and unique.
Stelvio is a restaurant that serves typical dishes of the Lombardy region and for how strange this may seem, not many restaurants in Milan – even less in Toronto – offer this type of food.
The creative concept we’ve developed aimed at supporting the positioning the restaurant wanted to achieve in line with culinary tradition, anchored to cultural roots and values, but innovative in its offer and able to attract modern customers interested in delving into Italian regional story and culture. Our task was to develop the entire brand identity for the restaurant, coherently with the restaurant’s mission and with the interior design chosen for the spaces: industrial style, furniture in rough wood, black and white decoration.
We therefore started with developing an overarching concept, based on the choice of black and white visuals and the development of tailor-made illustrations inspired to the language of tattoos. The “tattoo” style was chosen as it results very attracting for the target Stelvio wanted to talk to: trendsetters, hipsters, contemporary urban consumers. Together with a famous tattoo artist, we developed a set of illustrations, each taking inspiration from the typicality of the provinces composing the Lombardy region, able to create an immediate association between the dishes served and the places they originate from. A cow represents Brescia; a pumpkin represents Mantova; cheese represents Pavia; a nun represents Monza (recalling the famous 1962 historical drama “The nun of Monza”) etc. This also led to the design of Stelvio’s logo, represented by a stein bock.
The copywriting supported this visual choice: on all communication materials (menu, table mats, website etc.) we can find sentences that relate about Lombardian hidden treasures taken from the words of poets, songwriters, playwriters etc., contributing to reinforcing the cultural immersion in the local history and tradition.
This branding activity foresaw the creation of the logo, the development of an overall visual identity applied to all the corporate materials (business cards, staff uniforms, menu, table mats) and to all the communication materials. The tailor-made illustrations were framed and hung up in the two restaurants, but also transformed into postcards that Stelvio gives to its clients. They are also found on the gift cards, through which one can offer a dinner to a friend and on the outer panels informing about the daily dishes and menu proposals.
We have also developed the websites for the two restaurants, providing basic info on the restaurant location, working hours, menu and a photographic gallery to illustrate the spaces. Blossom also was in charge of art direction and production for the photos.SEE FULL PROJECT