This past week I completed the new logo design for Aurelio Barattini. Aurelio is a 5th generation Tuscan cook and owner of Antica Locando di Sesto, located in Lucca Province, Italy. He needed a new unique identity as a cook and ambassador of his region to distinguish himself as a brand and share his simple culinary message about the value of Old World Italian cooking methods and a respect for fresh, local, wild foods.
It’s not often that you get to fully experience what your customers create before designing for them. But last summer, my husband and I had the great fortune of traveling off-the-beaten path to Lucca on a personally guided tour by Traveling Native where we were able to stop and have lunch at Aurelio’s restaurant. I can say hands down it was one of the BEST meals we had on our entire month-long journey! The ingredients were so fresh and homemade and so completely different from the Italian food most Americans are accustomed to.
Last fall, I also was able to participate in a hands-on cooking workshop with Aurelio by Traveling Native Classes where we created 5 courses including handmade ravioli. That’s me there on the end.
The Ideas behind the Design
With all this great sensory experience to digest, we collaborated together with Andee Sorenson of Traveling Native to identify symbols that really spoke to Aurelio’s message. In early concepts we explored iconic tools like the mezzaluna and also ingredients like wheat, basil and tomatoes. However, none of these shapes resonated as strongly as the idea of a large, 2-handled copper pot.
The copper pot is a common vessel for cooking used in Italy for centuries. The view of the pot is from above, as the cook would see it, stirring his or her creation.
Incorporating this symbol into the design allows the logo to be used in several ways so it can be applied to various situations.
The small monogram-style mark can be used for instances when little room is available or a more square-shaped format is preferred. The full logo can be used for all other situations. Reversed and grayscale formats also give Aurelio the freedom to maintain a consistent look on other backgrounds or in limited color situations like newspaper advertising, fax transmissions where only black & white color is available.
A Typeface with Italian Roots
After looking at several initial concepts, ITC Santangeli was most fitting because of its Italian roots based on an eighteenth century manuscript by Italian writing master Benedetto Santangeli. The beautiful flowing handwriting quality gives the logo a very expressive, handmade feel which is akin to the art of cooking itself.
The copper pot also heavily influenced the coloring of the logo design. In its printed format, the copper sections will be metallic ink to add dimension and emphasis. The dark coloring is a very dark brown-black giving the depth of contrast needed to balance the copper, without being overly dark like pure black.
The Final Design
Aurelio will be here in Southern California again in late February, early March for another series of cooking workshops. I’m really looking forward to seeing all his newest creations and seeing how his new logo will grow and evolve. Congrats and Gratzie!