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 caf&#233 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 caf&#233 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.

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