This Friday I take you to Italy to see one of the latest additions to the scene of Turin, a place where design interlaces with the world of taste in a series of unexpected cross references.
"Alla lettera" restaurant is located in one of the city's most lively square, Piazza Bodoni, a name surely familiar to many graphic designers as the square is dedicated to the inventor of the famous font. The location inspired both the name of the premises and the design of the place, which is an homage to the world of typography and, therefore, to the shape of words (in Italian "alla lettera" means "literally" but also "to do things with precision and accuracy").
As stated by the architects, "Cooking and graphics are two worlds with similar project dynamics. The exhibit theme of the premises comes from this parallelism: the use of the ingredient typeface in any graphic or physical form, by creating elements from scratch or re-using existing elements. Moreover, at a time when the publishing industry is abusing of the food culture to sell, why can't a pizzeria use editorial language to connote its own spaces?"
Therefore, it came naturally to use the Bodoni font to create the company logo and playing with the different graphic variations of the letter "O" as a reference to the restaurant main product, pizza. The experimenting relation between design and kitchen doesn't stop here but involves every aspect of the place that, in this way, comes to have a dual level of understanding: a first level of purely expressive attraction and a second with additional information and references.
To me, the restaurant also manages to express part of the character of Turin itself through the strong industrial design language used throughout the restaurant.
Photography: Sandro Rizzo
Via yetmatilde studio, with thanks.