L’Olla, where things happen
L’Olla is a restaurant with strong cultural interests. Based in Roca Umbert an old textile factory turned into Art Center in the Barcelona Area. Next to the city library, it is surrounded by rusty pipes and old factory buildings among artists, tv stations, creatives, folklore: modernity and tradition. It is in the heart of the cultural life of the city and aims to set its rhythm with traditional Catalan gastronomy as well as modern music shows, from jazz to folk. L’Olla in Catalan means the “boiling pot” but is as well used idiomatically as the place where things happen, where ideas boil, for the brain. After a slow start turning the old factory buildings into a cultural center, first with a library, the need for a hub for the daily life of its daily visitors took off, and no better than a Bar/Restaurant in the Mediterranean tradition. Next to the library, the main goal was to the publics perception from “the library coffeeshop” and raise it to the gastronomic center and cultural hub. Considering the surroundings as the best scenario for that tradition/modern switch, the visual elements, logo and trademark, were set in black and white, to push for simplicity and keep the classic touch, utilizing, as well, black and white photography of that environment and keeping color only to highlight the gastronomy: dishes and drinks advertisements, both printed and on social media.
The Boiling Pot
One of the main activities to attract its audience and spread the word about the new establishment was through music and events. The first iteration of the brand was in advertisement highlighting the relationship between the surrounding environment. Business cards and newsletter sign-up cards.
Since most of the audience had the idea of the establishment as the ‘library cafe’, the menus played with that idea, trying to engage with them in a different level. The products were layed out on a book cover fashion, making it easy to read. As on environmental design standpoint, all tables in the restaurant were filled with books, sometimes placed vertical like in the figure, as if it was the library, asking the public (as is the title of the menu) to ‘read’ the menu as it is full of gastronomic adventures awaiting them.
Sounds of History
Most of the advertisement on social and printed was divided between the two main aspects of the brand, live music performances, weekly, and seasonal Mediterranean vegetables and traditional dishes. As the surroundings were an industrial landscape the color and B/W were segmented and utilized for each theme. For music and performances, black and white with old photographs either of the factory workers or their families or museum stock images were used.
As all branded communications were done in strict black and white color was reserved only for promoting either special dishes or special campaigns dedicated to seasonal menus and events. All food photography was art directed in order to highlight its benefits as all dishes were traditional Catalan cuisine and well known.