Pocknell to brand McDonalds rival

Pocknell Studio is to serve up a six-figure design brief for a new Italian fast food concept, Fresh Italy, which launches in July and is designed to appeal to fast food aficionados disaffected by McDonalds-style offerings.

Fresh Italy, the brainchild of a group of unnamed private investors, open its first outlet at London’s Ludgate Hill on 9 July, with longer-term plans to roll out nationwide. Pocknell Studio’s work for the company encompasses a broad remit including store design, identity and packaging.

The restaurant will provide freshly cooked, ‘quality’ Italian food, available to eat in or take away, and aims to fill the gap created by the decline of old-school fast food outlets, according to Pocknell Studio creative director David Pocknell.

‘The fast food market is not saturated yet,’ he says. ‘It is still able to absorb strong concepts which offer real value. You only have to see how people are voting with their feet against McDonalds.’

Pocknell says the main design challenge was to avoid Italian visual clichés, like images of old ladies dressed in black and classic Tuscan vistas. ‘We’re not in the olive oil world,’ Pocknell asserts.

Instead, the consultancy has settled on ‘modern, but comfortable authenticity’, after consumer research prompted it to make a U-turn on original plans for ‘sassy and sharp’ concepts.

This has translated into the use of natural materials like timber and limestone, combined with stainless steel and mosaics in the restaurant. The logo, also created by Pocknell Studio, includes an abstract painting that ‘expresses Italian landscapes’.

The group was awarded the brief on the back of a six-way credentials pitch last May.

Meanwhile, Pocknell Studio has also designed the corporate identity, including logos and packaging, for a new range of pasteurised fruit and energy drinks for beverage manufacturer Macaw. The two-year project is believed to be worth £200 000 in fees to the group.

Macaw, known for manufacturing own-brand products for supermarket chains, launches its H2O sports energy drinks next month.

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