The Plant cooks up identity system for Jamie’s Italian

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is to work with a host of design groups and architects on the implementation of his forthcoming restaurant chain, Jamie’s Italian.

The ‘urban casual dining’ restaurant ‘collection’, of which the first venue will open in Bath early next year, is yet another offshoot of Oliver’s existing business – Jamie Oliver Holdings – which spans food products, recipes, books and cookware ranges.

Design consultancy The Plant won the project to create an identity system for the restaurants, without a pitch and on the strength of an existing relationship. It is working on the development of this system, as well as signage, hoardings and menus for the first restaurant.

The Plant creative director Matt Utber explains that the identity system has to be flexible enough to be unique to each location – to fit in with furniture, finishes, lighting and signage which will be tailored for each individual venue.

Three further sites are planned for Oxford, Cambridge and Brighton to open before the end of 2008.

Architect Stiff & Trevillion is working on the Bath venue, which is in a Georgian building, while Martin Brudnizski Design Studio is working on the Brighton site, a 1970s office block conversion.

Jamie’s Italian managing director Simon Blagden explains that as the work is site-specific, there may be opportunities for other groups to get involved, depending on requirements.

Brand consistency within the graphic elements of the restaurant will be maintained through the logo, with a decorative component made up of classic Italian imagery.

The Plant will also create ‘subtle decoration’ for each restaurant interior, to include installations and wall graphics, working with different architects for each restaurant.

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