Bonfire chills out with Buddhist Lounge design

A chain of nationwide chill-out bars called The Lounge is set to open this month, with branding by Bedford design group Bonfire Design and interiors by Design Coalition.

The first venue opens in Bedford and the format is scheduled to be rolled out in Manchester, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Cambridge and Sheffield over the next few years. The two design consultancies have worked closely on the project, which is managed by Advantage Licensed Retail.

Aimed primarily at a more sophisticated 25- to 30-year-old age group, The Lounge will be ‘a new-style chain of bar- restaurants’ which puts ‘an emphasis on quality food,’ explains Bonfire Design director Stephen Judge.

Bonfire has created the identity and retail branding for The Lounge, and is also involved in the design of print and commissioned artwork material for the chain, which opens this week.

‘The main focus [for sites] will be provincial towns – the first site is due to open in Bedford this week and it will serve as something of a test bed for the rest of the chain,’ says Judge. ‘The remainder will be rolled out over the next few years.’

The Lounge’s identity (pictured) is a hand-drawn signature, inspired by Buddhist environments, Judge continues, designed to create an ambience conveying ‘excellence, quality, relaxation and comfort,’ he says. The visual identity itself was inspired by the stone shapes of the Zen Gardens, he adds.

Bonfire was awarded the initial branding work for the Bedford site through word of mouth recommendation.

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