In Fine Company
In October 2018, the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) opened Stir, its new signature dining experience. The food is by the Constellation Culinary Group; the architecture by Frank Gehry; the name and logo by none other than Fyfe Design.
We began exploring ideas eight months before, working as consultants for Constellation Culinary Group (previously Starr Catering). Whatever direction we chose needed to address several parameters. First, the logo had to complement the museum’s clean, modern logo, which was recently redesigned by Pentagram. The name had to reflect the museum’s core values of being vital, open, connected, and provocative. Finally, PMA requested that the name suggest action or activity, while still relating to food, art, and architecture.
We came up with hundreds of potential names that we then sorted and culled. We presented 10 options to the Constellation Culinary Group, which in turn selected three finalists to pitch to PMA:
Stir, Icon, The Aubergine.
To help PMA decide on the name, we developed a series of concept logos.
PMA liked that Stir is both a verb and a noun, suggesting energy and movement. The concept was a good fit with PMA’s expansion project and Gehry’s style of architecture. “Stir” also evokes the creative process (stirring paint, the stirring of emotions), and, of course, the making and eating of food and drink.
Designing the Logo
A restaurant logo has many different applications. It must work as well on a sign as it does on menus, uniforms, promotional materials, a website, and more. For Stir, we had an additional consideration. The museum’s new identity system included a custom font that we had to incorporate. This font has a straightforward character. On its own, it does not reflect the energy and movement of the word “stir.” We decided to add an irregular composition of circles around the name to inject the logo with vitality and fluidity.
As for the color palette, we found inspiration in the materials that Frank Gehry used for the restaurant. The result: warm and inviting hues that also convey verve and momentum.