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Brand Bible by Debbie Millman

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F39 Job:09-26878 Title:RP-Brand Bible
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All work by Mucca Design
how To Brand
a resTauranT





My rst thought is, “No.” As an Italian, I believe that
the food should always be the “protagonist”—the sole
reason why we eat at a particular restaurant. For
Italians, generally, this is true. But because we’re in
America, where food is primarily the protagonist
in an obesity epidemic, restaurants need design.
Restaurants need design not to create appetite, but to
add to the culinary experience.

Matteo Bologna
Mucca Design
20
Creating design as
delectable as the
cuisine it represents
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


Absolutely. Design is something that comes between
you and the experience of tasting the food. It’s not
necessary. When you go to Italy, some of the best
restaurants are ugly, but the food is amazing. Here,
we live in a dierent context. Traditionally, food here
is bad. People eat mostly packaged food provided
by corporations. But in the last twenty years in the
United States, there has been a movement led by
people like Alice Waters, who have helped food to
reclaim the importance it should have had from the
very beginning. There are two groups related to this.
There is a group of chefs who are trying to improve
the quality of food, and who have actually succeeded
quite well. And there are other chefs who are trying
to improve or add to the experience.

As designers, we’re setting the stage. We have to help
the customer enjoy every moment in the restaurant.
Everything we do is about giving personality to a
venue so that the event remains very memorable for
the customer. The design and materials we create
for the restaurant help to elevate the food in a very
particular way, without interfering in the relation-
ship between the customer and the food.


For a restaurant, the design should be transparent
and functional. A menu should be easy to read, so
the customer can nd things easily: You don’t want
to spend too much time reading a long page of text.
Usually, we design in such a way so that the menu
is easy to scan—this way, the customer can give a
quick look at it and know what to get. For the restau-
rateur, our design is functional in the sense that it
needs to promote certain items to help facilitate a
certain experience during the evening. Or get rid
of old sh [laughs]. Either way, our job is to high-
light certain items that are more protable or more
signicant for the restaurants identity.



The menu is denitely a unique canvas. When
you design a menu, you need a lot of experience to
achieve certain goals that your client has. Menus
have a lot of rules that are very subtle—but every
specialty in design has specic rules. Book jackets
have their own rules. Signage has its own rules.


Branding for
Brooklyn Fare, a
grocery store, using a
custom typeface
All work by Mucca Design
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#175 Dtp:204 Page:235
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10/7/11 10:09 AM

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