Kao Street is a Chinese food restaurant based in the center of Barcelona, Spain. Founded by Meilan Kao (part of the Kao family, one of the pioneers of Asian street food in Europe), Kao Street (“High Street”) serves high quality Chinese cuisine, and has nothing to do with street sellers you find in China. The restaurant’s interior design was made by renowned designer Pilar Libano, who created an industrial atmosphere, inspired by the New York street food scene. Besides, not only can you eat and take away from the restaurant, you can also buy books, magazines and clothes, which makes it a hybrid concept store.
The visual identity plays on the diversity of patterns we usually associate with Chinese street food: a calligraphed ideogram, a traditional dragon drawing, the stars from the Chinese flag… This association of typical images is printed onto wrapping paper, and is used for diverse goodies, such as lighters or T-shirts. Nevertheless, the restaurant has a signature logotype, composed of the two Chinese ideograms “高街” enclosed by the English words “Kao” and “Street”, set in Cardinal Fruit from Production Type. The Chinese glyphs appear to be from Hiragino Mincho, slanted. The calligraphic structure of Cardinal Fruit’s italics and its nervous rhythm evoke the rapidity of the way street food is prepared and served. In this context, it fits into the street style that the brand wanted to explore: superimposed with images of Chinese cooks, the typeface gives its credentials to street food.
The logo is used as a pattern for different supports: we can see it on noodle boxes, paper bags, and also on the duct tape that is used as much to wrap plastic boxes as a decorative item in the restaurant. We find it set in this typical linear composition on communication for the restaurant’s Instagram and as a header for the website (designed by Mediatics). Throughout the brand, Cardinal Fruit is paired with GT Pressura Mono by Grilli Type, which is mostly used in all caps.