Working with Naoto Ono at RDA International, we collaborated with renowned NYC chef Pino Luongo for his new restaurant, Morso. With all eyes on his first restaurant opening in a decade; the brief required a move away from Luongo’s traditional Italian restaurants while still capturing the classic ambience derived from more than thirty years on the NYC restaurant scene.
Directing everything from logo and photography, to menu curation and dish naming, we drew influence from Luongo’s heritage (both authentic Tuscan and old school New York), the restaurants location (59th St & Sutton Place, right underneath the Queensboro Bridge), and current dining trends.
Bites of inspiration from all over Italy and the Mediterranean led to the restaurant name, Italian for “bite”, and the menu—with dishes available as morso (smaller servings, so you can taste bites of everything) or tutto (full size). This theme of European travel, combined with graphic influences from vintage Italian graphic design (notably, the designer Albe Steiner) became the backdrop for the creative design and color palette. The interior graphics then became a visual library translated across all collateral.
The brand voice is tongue-in-cheek simplistic, often poking fun at Luongo’s perceived public ego and never taking itself too seriously. With a ‘let the food do the talking’ mantra, dialogue seeks to raise a smile—and to relish in the everyday joys of sharing a delicious meal with friends and family. ‘Silence is golden when the mouth is full’ became the first in a serious of unique and classic quotes and phrases, placed across all channels.