North’s elephant-inspired Naamyaa café graphics

North Design and David Archer Architects are working on designs for Naamyaa, a new Bangkok-style café in Islington, London.


North Design's Naamyaa elephant icon

North Design’s Naamyaa elephant icon

North Design and David Archer Architects are working on designs for Naamyaa, a new Bangkok-style café in Islington, London.

The café is a sister brand to the Busaba Eathai Thai restaurant chain, which also uses interiors by David Archer Architect and Christian Liaigre, and graphics by North Design.

Busaba Eathai and Naamyaa are both run by Aaya, which also founded Wagamama, Halkkasan and Yauatcha, and North and David Archer were appointed to the project on the strength of previous work for the company.

North Design’s work will be used across including menus, signage and wall graphics; while David Archer is creating the interiors in collaboration with the in-house Aaya team.

The branding uses an elephant icon and a colour palette of purpley-blue, gold, burnt orange and white. The elephant is used to form patterns that will appear across walls, flooring and crockery.

Sean Perkins, North Design founding partner, says, ‘The identity used on the menus and graphics is like a kit of parts that all comes together in a very eclectic way, just like Thailand itself. We tried to capture that eclecticness in the identity – it’s a bit of a car crash but we like it. There’s a lot of textures and patterns.’

Naamyaa graphics

Naamyaa graphics

North and Aaya director Alan Yau are also creating a mural of ceramics and tile graphics that tell mythological Thai stories.

Perkins says, ‘The identity, as with what we’ve done in the past, evolves from an initial brief about the food platform. We researched into it and that’s where the inspiration comes from, so we had to choose a font that has both Thai and Latin characters. It’s an eclectic mix of icons and references to the food.’

North Design's Naamyaa branding

North Design’s Naamyaa branding

The menu designs will be mostly pictorial, using photographs of the dishes and a ‘very visual, simple menu system’, according to Perkins.

Naamyaa says the interiors will feature ‘a blend of traditional Thai materials with modern detailing.’ Materials include handmade Ayutthaya Thai Bricks and ceramic Siamese decorative tiles, used alongside modern Perspex linear LED pendant lighting features.

The 110-cover space, which is due to open in October, will be located within the Angel building in Islington, north London, which also houses the Design Council’s new offices. It is hoped that a number of further branches will open following this.

Naamyaa hoarding, with North Design's graphics work

Naamyaa hoarding, with North Design’s graphics work

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