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August 4, 2009

When we go out to eat, the environs are are often as much of a consideration as the food—if we just wanted to satisfy our hunger we'd eat a sandwich standing up at the kitchen counter. Dining out involves all of our senses and creating a spectacular experience for guests is as much a challenge for a designer as for a chef. The new book Design Taste: Graphics and Interiors for Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants offers a heaping helping of appetizing atmospheres that illustrate the many contextual details that go into maximizing every meal.

Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://www.ifancyasnog.com">Snog</a> frozen yogurt shop in London, England. Graphic design by Gerard Ivall and Amanda Gaskin.
Spread from Design Taste: Snog frozen yogurt shop in London, England. Graphic design by Gerard Ivall and Amanda Gaskin.
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Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://farina.net.au">Farina</a> kitchen and bar in Adelaide, Australia. Graphic design by <a href="http://www.hpg.net.au">Hecker Phelan & Guthrie</a>. Interior design by Adriana Stelmach.
Spread from Design Taste: Farina kitchen and bar in Adelaide, Australia. Graphic design by Hecker Phelan & Guthrie. Interior design by Adriana Stelmach.
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Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://www.bella-italia-weine.de">Bella Italia Weine</a> restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany. Interior design by <a href="http://www.ifgroup.org">Ippolito Fleitz Group</a>.
Spread from Design Taste: Bella Italia Weine restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany. Interior design by Ippolito Fleitz Group.
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Design Taste Book Cover

Published by Hong Kong-based company Viction:ary and distributed in the United States exclusively by Gingko Press, the book features 71 eateries around the world, ranging from a coffee van in Belgium to a chocolate shop in Japan. Chosen as examples of the ways in which graphic and interior design comes together to enhance the eating experience, the projects are displayed in spreads that show not only the spaces themselves, but the materials that support and reinforce the brand: posters, business cards, napkins, menus, take-out bags.

Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://www.ifancyasnog.com">Snog</a> frozen yogurt shop in London, England. Graphic design by Gerard Ivall and Amanda Gaskin.
Spread from Design Taste: Snog frozen yogurt shop in London, England. Graphic design by Gerard Ivall and Amanda Gaskin.

While the color photos are enticing, the descriptions act as a series of amuse bouches rather than meatier main courses. The lack of depth in the text through the first 200 pages is, however, mitigated to a degree by the final section of case studies. Here, interviews with the graphic and interior designers accompany the four selected projects, providing the most meaningful content. In one, Masamichi Katayama, founder of Wonderwall, speaks about working with graphic design firm Good Design Company to create the visual identity and space for Tokyo Curry Lab, an experimental curry restaurant in Japan in which the dining area and kitchen are separated by a glass wall filled with rows of spice-filled test tubes.

Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://farina.net.au">Farina</a> kitchen and bar in Adelaide, Australia. Graphic design by <a href="http://www.hpg.net.au">Hecker Phelan & Guthrie</a>. Interior design by Adriana Stelmach.
Spread from Design Taste: Farina kitchen and bar in Adelaide, Australia. Graphic design by Hecker Phelan & Guthrie. Interior design by Adriana Stelmach.

The treatment of the final projects, which get to the heart of restaurant design and its processes, leave you craving for more but overall, the book is a tasty treat, and will pair well with your coffee (table).

Spread from <i>Design Taste</i>: <a href="http://www.bella-italia-weine.de">Bella Italia Weine</a> restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany. Interior design by <a href="http://www.ifgroup.org">Ippolito Fleitz Group</a>.
Spread from Design Taste: Bella Italia Weine restaurant in Stuttgart, Germany. Interior design by Ippolito Fleitz Group.

Photos courtesy of Gingko Press

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