With 2019 drawing to a close, projects for 2020 are slowly taking shape here at Turtle and Hare, in particular building the brand for a new street food business and their Peranakan supper club concept.
Along with our client’s extensive family history (over three generations from Penang), we’re stirring into the mix research gathered for our South East Asian sabbatical a couple of years back—a much needed break from our years working in agencies.
On this twelve month trip we were bombarded with fresh visual design elements, styles and techniques everywhere we looked. Under these old shop front signs and billboard hoardings we saw local ingredients being prepared in a myriad of classic styles served to the customer in hand, hot and brimming with flavour.
One special part of our journey was meeting our friend, photographer and co-founder of West Yorkshire Cameras, Tom Horton to capture some of the things we had grown to love in Northern Malaysia.
It’s experiences like these that inform our design ideas when working with street food clients. The conversations we have with the chefs we work with regarding craft, cuisine, and customer help us understand the heart of their business core values.
Tom captured traditional signage and shop fronts across the Perak, Kedah and Pulau Penang districts of Malaysia. We fell in love with the mix of hand painted bamboo curtains, industrial fonts, and multiple languages. The typography in these examples are pieces of history that tell the story of Chinese immigration and British rule.
Thanks to Tom we have a wealth of first hand visual research we are using to inform this branding project. We spent a lot of time in Penang and Ipoh, two places famous for their world class street food and hawker centres. However, one thing we weren’t expecting was the amazing signage and shop fronts iconic to the towns.
“Every seven years Stefan shuts down his studio. He says the sabbatical has turned out to be invaluable in his work: “Everything that we designed in the seven years following the first sabbatical has its roots in thinking done during that time” – Stephen Sagmeister.