A key part of any corporate building is its staff restaurant. When the Royal Bank of Scotland’s corporate institutional banking division moved to 2 Waterhouse Square in London’s Holborn, the restaurant was part of the huge refurbishment project commissioned by the bank.
While the bank and café interiors were designed by architect TTSP, Horseman Cooke was asked to propose a name and create an identity and graphics for the restaurant.
The consultancy looked at a number of solutions, but `the Waterhouse Cafe seemed the obvious choice, along with the Waterhouse Deli for the cold food and sandwich section’, says Horseman Cooke creative director Gary Cooke.
The restaurant interiors reflect a mix of influences, but the graphics had to be clear and simple. `We wanted to step aside from the interiors concept, rather than reflect it or move away from it, and we didn’t want anything fussy like hand-written neon,’ says Cooke. `When all’s said and done, it is after all a bank, and we had to be sensitive to that. For the identity, he adds, `we chose to go for a bold statement which is quite simple and clean, but at the same time is fairly witty.’
The graphics incorporate a number of themes. The chemical symbol for water, H2O, is used not only because of the obvious water theme, but also because the café is unlicensed, and to pick up on its address.
Other graphics, based largely on a blackboard theme, are currently being designed for everything from signs and menus to sandwich labels. The restaurant, which opened last week, is currently being monitored `to see what else if anything it needs in the way of more graphics’, adds Cooke.