A New Look for Gerard Craft’s Niche, Guided by Atomicdust

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With help from Atomicdust, chef Gerard Craft redefines Niche, his award-winning flagship St. Louis restaurant.

The new Niche menu, designed by Atomicdust.

Atomicdust designed the menu to slide out of an envelope with a plumb-bob-shaped cutout that reveals a small portion of the interior menu’s textures and colors. When the menu is removed from the envelope, guests feel the full impact of the images.

The location isn’t the only thing that’s new for Niche, Gerard Craft’s flagship St. Louis restaurant. In addition to its updated space in Clayton’s Centene Plaza, Niche has received a fresh visual identity, complete with new menu and website, from marketing and design agency Atomicdust.

“People go to Niche to be delighted and discover something new,” said Atomicdust Creative Director Mike Spakowski. “We knew that everything we created also needed to live up to those expectations.”

In an early meeting, Craft told Atomicdust’s creative team that his approach to Niche was influenced by the phrase “Be plumb and square.”

“We learned that the phrase was inspired by the plumb bob, a weight that swings on the end of a string to form a perfectly vertical line,” said Spakowski. “It’s a really simple tool, but for centuries it was the thing that made it possible for architects to create amazing buildings and monuments. We thought about that in relation to Niche and the process of making great food. Amazing things have simple beginnings.”

In that spirit, Niche’s new visual identity highlights good cuisine’s building blocks: colors, textures and shapes. On both the new website and menus, circles of various sizes encompass individual ingredient photographs that come together to create something greater than the sum of their parts.

The new menu’s design was inspired by Niche’s reputation as the city’s restaurant of choice for special occasions.

“We know that people like to celebrate at Niche, so we wanted opening the menu to feel like opening a present,” said Spakowski.

Atomicdust designed the menu to slide out of an envelope with a plumb-bob-shaped cutout that reveals a small portion of the interior menu’s textures and colors. When the menu is removed from the envelope, guests feel the full impact of the images: bright herbs, chili peppers, orange slices, radishes and more. To add a bit of intrigue, and to acknowledge that Niche can’t easily be defined, the front of the menu has no printed ink—just embossed logo type.

In the spirit of simplicity, the new Niche website is contained on a single vertical page, where a semi-transparent swinging plumb-bob follows the visitor throughout the experience. The restaurant will share news, new additions to the menu and images via the embedded Twitter feed, and a reservation button will make it easy for visitors to take action if they find themselves hungry for more.

In addition to their work for Niche and Pastaria, Atomicdust also recently completed branding and design work for St. Louis brands Goshen Coffee and Rockwood Charcoal.

About Atomicdust

Atomicdust is an agency that works with businesses to focus and maintain their brand through design, marketing, and the web.
http://www.atomicdust.com

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