Dishoom, a Bombay Irani style café, was to open its second branch in Shoreditch. To capture the authenticity of the restaurant’s cooking we went to India to collect stories from diners in the original Bombay cafés. Each of the best 80 anecdotes were lovingly crafted with a unique typographic treatment. These designs were then baked onto the plates that now sit on Dishoom’s tables before food is served. Customers read the stories, learning about the culture of the original Bombay cafés, before sharing the tasty dishes.
This has inspired new customers to contribute their own tales with some returning to even find them baked. In the end, we crafted over 150 unique Story Plate designs. We even helped one romantic chap make his marriage proposal with a plate. It’s now proudly displayed on the couple’s mantlepiece.
With a small budget and massive design task, my role was to motivate the design team to make time between and after other briefs to achieve the results the brief offered. Each design required a unique and simple typographic illustration of a single idea from the associated story.
The art direction called for strict consistency amongst many designers with different skill sets and styles. Selecting a limited number of similar informal typefaces and avoiding overuse of non-typographic elements helped keep designs cohesive.