Identica has designed what it claims to be Russia’s first public Internet cafÃ©, CafÃ©max, which opens its doors in Moscow this week.
The outlet is the second initiative for CafÃ©max owner, Internet portal Emax, which launched last September, that Identica has worked on.
The consultancy was charged with developing a brand identity for Emax that would work well across the portal and the cafÃ© and have resonance with a Russian audience.
A core “egg-headed” character was created to work across separate areas of the cafÃ© and the portal, and a Cyrillic version of CafÃ©max was developed to comply with Russian exterior signage regulations, says Identica retail director Nick Corney.
“The overall look and feel for the brand was developed to convey ‘New Russia’ – contemporary values combined with the necessary warmth and intelligent humour,” he adds.
The CafÃ©max interiors had to cater for Russian idiosyncrasies, as well as being attractive to passing tourist trade. Retail outlets are extremely expensive in Russia relative to other markets and there was great pressure to create a design that would maximise potential returns, says Corney.
CafÃ©max will house printing, copying, binding and design facilities for students and business clients, as well as meeting areas. All of these are in short supply in Moscow, Corney adds.
Emax is opening a second cafÃ© in the autumn in Russia and hopes to roll out the concept nationwide and in Eastern Europe.
The website, www.emax.ru, is available in Russian and English to attract tourists to the cafÃ© as well as Russians, incorporating a link to CafÃ©max.
Emax approached Identica for the project on the strength of its previous brand identity work with Russian vodka brand Russian Standard.