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.
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.
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).
Photos courtesy of Gingko Press
When not writing, Miyoko Ohtake can be found cooking, training for her next marathon, and enjoying all that the City by the Bay and the great outdoors have to offer.