PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Manhatta Restaurant
In a crowded, bustling metropolis, it’s so easy to find yourself feeling stifled and hemmed in from all sides. To give New Yorkers the chance to take a breath and drink in the beauty of their city from a new perspective, Union Square Hospitality Group opened Manhatta, a restaurant 60 floors above Lower Manhattan offering breathtaking 360-degree views.
Working closely with its creators, high-end branding experts Mucca developed playful postcards and coasters, as well as a creative menu design, around one irresistible theme: “Meet us in the sky.”
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Playful Postcards and Business Cards
While there is much to love in every piece, for pure fun and whimsy it’s hard to beat the Manhatta postcard. Printed on uncoated 80-lb. Cover Off-White paper, one side boasts the brand’s trademark Sky Blue tone, as well as a series of numbered lines printed in Gold ink. With the help of these pre-scored lines, the recipient is invited to fold along them to turn the card into a paper airplane.
Sky Blue also dominates the front of the extra long business card printed on uncoated Off-White cover stock. It features the Manhatta name in Gold foil, while the back includes the address and contact details beneath an extended arrow in Gold foil pointing, you guessed it, skywards.
Colorful Coasters and Matchboxes
This pastel color palette extends to other restaurant ephemera, too. Pillowy White cellulose coasters feature the address above whimsical Gold ink line drawings of hot-air balloons, hearts, etc., each accentuated by watercolor-like, deliberately off-register dabs of color. Slender matchboxes, too, rejoice in Sky Blue backgrounds, as well as more geometric patterns and off-register hues.
Creative Menu Design
The designers continued their balancing act between playfulness and sophistication with the menu holders, which are all business on the outside. Whether it is the main menu or the two smaller options for special occasions, all follow the same design structure: The menu cover is offset printed in Gold or Sky Blue ink. There is only the Manhatta name foil stamped on the Domtar Earth Choice Index sheet, with a gold elastic band running through holes at opposite ends of the spine.
The inside covers feature the same pieces of line art that graced the coasters, this time hot foil stamped throughout. Against this background the actual menu is displayed on a separate Off-White sheet, which is held in place by the elastic band.
While the printer initially discouraged the folks at Mucca from using a full-bleed pattern on the inside cover, fearing that it would come across as tacky, the designers stuck to their instincts, and rightly so judging by the results. As they explain, “Printers can have very valuable comments in terms of production, but we learned that it’s important to pursue your vision to maintain the integrity of the design.”
Which just goes to show the value of backing up your “blue sky” thinking.
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.