Decoding Design: Why Food and Restaurants Look Like They Do

Why would Goldfarb move back to N.Y. when he said he can jog and swim in Bali everyday?
Why would Goldfarb move back to N.Y. when he said he can jog and swim in Bali everyday? Photo: WireImage

At the AIGA food and design panel discussion last night, we were disappointed to hear Will Goldfarb was only back from his long-term stay in Indonesia for the weekend. (He half-joked that it was cheaper for his family to move to Bali so his 4-year-old daughter can attend an “all-green, sustainable nursery school” than it would be to send her to private school in New York.) Goldfarb annotated five desserts he had created for an old photo shoot and explained his “horoscope” principle: If twelve signs cover everyone, he should be able to “make a menu with twelve items that could appeal to the world.”

William Harris dominated the AvroKO presentation and explained the foursome’s tendency to inject “controversial subjects” like the slums of Kowloon, the Great Depression, and imperialism into restaurants by “mining them in the right way.” Colleague Kristina O’Neal preferred the term “romanticizing.” Next time you’re at Double Crown, look for iconography representing Britain’s forced spreading of Christianity, like patterns lifted from confessional screens. Mucca’s Matteo Bologna explained some of the branding decisions his firm made for several Keith McNally restaurants. The mishmash of typefaces on the Pastis menu was selected to evoke a family-owned feel, while the Schiller’s menu has a specially created font that looks handwritten. Bologna dorked out a bit, prompting Goldfarb to tease him during the chef’s own presentation. Clicking through a slide of scrawled notes, Goldfarb said, “That’s a typeface I created with a pen.”

Earlier: On the Matter of Will Goldfarb’s Whereabouts (WillAbouts?)…