Carluccio’s first launched in 1999 and is now a popular fixture on the British high street. This rebrand by Frontroom London marks the first major overhaul of the chain’s identity since launch, and includes a shift in focus that it hopes will connect more with younger generations.
“Carluccio’s previous positioning was ‘Honestly Italian’ and was focused on what they offered – authentic Italian food,” says Jackie Davis, Frontroom’s creative director and managing partner. “Pre-pitch stage, Carluccio’s had commissioned some research that showed this positioning wasn’t hitting the mark with customers. Respondents were unsure what the brand stood for, what made it special and different. The brand communciations lacked character, with few distinctive twists or points of view and its offering was beginning to look out-dated and bland. A full brand reinvigoration was needed across every single touchpoint, from pasta to posters.”
Frontroom proposed that the chain focus not just on the fact that Carluccio’s is based around Italian food, as this is something that is widely available elsewhere so less distinctive, but on the philosophy of life that is espoused by its founder, Antonio Carluccio. “We flipped the thinking to focus not on what Carluccio’s did – Italian food – but on why they did it; the passion for delivering lots of little pleasures,” continues Davis. “In this way we stopped talking about food and started talking about the customer. And it’s these real life customer insights and connections that you’ll see in the new design.”
The design includes new expressive typography combining Diversa with Pressura, which is used across the chain’s menus and other branding to deliver gentle observations on the joy of life and food, including ‘Be greedy for life’ and ‘Eat well. Laugh often. Love much’. This is combined with illustrations that take inspiration from classic Italian posters and use flat, clean colours, giving an overall graphic feel.
There have been changes made to the chain’s restaurant design too, by Fusion by Design, which now combine the deli with the open kitchen into the dining area, so customers can watch the chefs at work. Fusion by Design has also updated the interiors, and there has been a huge overhaul of Carluccio’s menu.
Where changes have been more subtly applied are to the brand’s use of colour, which continues to be blue though has been updated to a more mordern, brighter shade, Pantone 072. And the logo remains broadly the same to the untrained eye, though now includes the words ‘Deli & Dining’ beneath the name. “Research identified that the logo was a positive design equity and so we wanted to build on its strengths and revitalise it,” says Davis. “We added a number of little design evolutions that together combine to reveal a fresh, future-facing brand.”
Changes to the Carluccio’s menu apply across the chain from this week. The new Covent Garden deli and restaurant is the first of the chain’s 100 venues across the UK to receive the refit following a pilot in the Spitalfields’ venue in East London, with the rest to follow.