Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Tin Building food market has opened in New York City with a custom Mucca identity and typeface inspired by the site’s former tenant, Fulton Fish Market.
The new 53,000 square foot (4,900 square meter) two-story Culinary Market is home to four full-service restaurants, six fast food outlets, four bars and eight market vendors, where Tin Building’s product line of 24 collections and more than 400 SKUs will be sold. In addition to developing Tin Building’s core identity, Brooklyn-based studio Mucca also designed the brand identity for all of the Marketplace’s subsites, the packaging for each Tin Building product, 153 signage and l all of its goods.
Mucca’s designer and typographer, Sean O’Connor, says Mucca “searched through a lot of archives” and discovered old photos of the Fulton Fish Market. The team was drawn to the typography on “the family stall vendor signs,” he adds.
The distinguishing features of the signage were the “beveled corners” and the fact that the letters of the longer names had been condensed to fit the space, while the shorter names had “wider characters”, says O ‘Connor. As a “contemporary take” on this style, Mucca created a “custom variable font with multiple weights and widths” called NoExit Octagonal, he says.
Although the bespoke typography started out as an “aesthetic homage”, Mucca founder and creative director Matteo Bologna said it “technically” served when longer names needed to be applied to small labels. Although there are a large number of touchpoints throughout the site, Mucca used variations of NoExit Octagonal on all of them, including wordmarks and subsite wrappers.
To ensure that the Tin Building hero wordmark is “personalized to some extent”, O’Connor says a 3D drop shadow has been applied to make it “more than just a font”. The type has also been customized and “embellished” for location wordmarks and “ornamentalization” has been added to some of the higher end product packaging through the application of cross-hatching or drop-shading, adds O’Connor.
Coupled with the “high-end luxury elements” that are part of “Jean-Georges’ culinary ethos”, is what O’Connor calls the “raw, utilitarian aesthetic”, linking the site’s history to its coming.
Initially, due to the enormity of the project, Mucca attempted to simplify the identity by starting with one font and two shades of green, but realized that more colors were needed when “designing ranges”. of multi-flavored products,” says O’Connor.
The solution was a “simple change in materiality or color,” says O’Connor, such as adding leaves over the typography or including background artwork alongside the overall identity. Bologna likens it to “creating different variations of the melody while [making] it sounds like the same song”.
Mucca was also heavily involved in the naming of the site and its subrooms, a process that Bologna describes as “very personal and idiosyncratic for clients”. The name Tin Building was chosen to recall the 1907 building that housed the Fulton Fish Market and for the sub-locations the ideas were presented in ‘conceptual groupings’ relevant to ‘master branding’, it adds. -he.
Bologna says that for such an “ambitious project”, working on the proposal “took longer than getting the job done”, explaining that Mucca had to “think organically” about how it could “give the right amount of ‘space to every place, product and brand’ under one roof.
The identity began to roll out in Tin Building’s main brand and sub-brands, as well as menus, signage, merchandise and packaging for over 400 products. The identities of Tin Building’s three “invader locations” – confectionery Spoiled Parrot, Chinese speakeasy-inspired restaurant House of the Red Pearl and Japanese sushi restaurant Shikku – are currently under development by Mucca.