Checkland Kindleyside’s identity for Café Football

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have opened a football-themed café in Stratford’s Westfield Centre with an identity system designed by Checkland Kindleysides.

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have opened a football-themed café in Stratford’s Westfield Centre with an identity system designed by Checkland Kindleysides.

Café Football opened last month and serves food inspired by the beautiful game – the menu includes fish and chips, pies, burgers and ribs with names such as Home Team and Starting Eleven, waiters wear football style jerseys and the walls are lined with TV screens playing coverage of the sport.

Leicester agency Checkland Kindleysides designed the logo, graphics, branding and interior of the restaurant and have created a colourful scheme that references the game while avoiding associations with particular teams.

Steve Ubsdell, associate design director at Checkland Kindleysides, says Giggs and Neville’s aim was to create a family friendly venue rather than a traditional sports bar.

“They wanted to create an inclusive space where references to football culture were subtly integrated…a casual dining experience when a family can enjoy shared time together,” he says. The Manchester United players took a hands-on approach to the project, says Ubsdell, and were closely involved in the branding and build of the venue.

Café Football’s logo is a simple design featuring the brand name in Brauer Neue above the strapline ‘Love food. Love football’. It’s honest and uncomplicated, in keeping with the venue’s image, but the outline detail and use of colour add some flair.

Checkland Kindleysides also designed a shield and accompanying monogram which can be used interchangeably just as football clubs use their crests, names and nicknames.

“Simplicity and honesty were two key characteristics we wanted to keep in mind when generating the brand and logotype,” says Ubsdell. “Brauer Neue was used as the initial base of the logotype and has also been used as the brand font, creating a consistent communication throughout the entire brand…it was important we selected a typeface that was simple and understated, capturing the authentic, grass roots aspect of football,” he adds.

The agency also employed a chevron device, which has been used on the exterior of the building and the restaurant’s menus, website and promotional material.

“The chevron pattern is used to capture the speed and movement of the game, originally conceived from the running of legs and the colours of the sock. [It’s designed to] provide the brand and space with an energy and enthusiasm creating a branding device that is own-able and eye-catching,” explains Ubsdell.

When selecting colours for the brand, Checkland Kindleysides used a range of different shades in sun-bleached tones to keep things neutral, and avoid any associations with existing teams.

“It was essential we create a brand and space that brought people together as a collective. Therefore the colours were carefully selected to embody the sports culture and not marginalise any teams, [and] the tones are slightly sun bleached to draw upon nostalgic memories of the game,” adds Ubsdell.

By using simple graphic devices and one typeface throughout, Checkland Kindleysides has created a simple and coherent identity system for Café Football. The chevron and shields informed the design of menus, signage, ads and the brand’s website, and the bleached colour tones and “honest” type help communicate a relaxed and family-friendly image, helping distance the restaurant from more adult-focused sports bars.

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