ÍZ studio is a cultural-culinary project, based in Cluj (Romania) that combines catering services with a conscious celebration of food and eating together as a means of connecting with each other.
Their belief is that, firstly, eating should be an experience in and of itself, not only on the special days and, secondly, that the way food is presented and the context that surrounds it plays a crucial role in creating the ideal atmosphere for its full enjoyment.
The brand already had a name. ÍZ means taste in Hungarian but as it is a very short and curiously sounding word, it can work as a brand name in other languages, too.
When developing the visual identity of the brand, we took in consideration the geometric form, simplicity, and vertical feel of this word. It inspired us not only in terms of the associated meanings but also as a visual element.
The main aspect that we needed to build the brand on was their core philosophy: great things start with tremendous simplicity. This was already present in the shortness of their name and the obvious meaning it carried.
Our starting point for the logo was the elongated feel of the brand’s name. We decided to focus on this in the typography, so we accentuated the elongation and put an emphasis on the visual aspect of this word. We used the accent on the letter I (an accent that is only present in the Hungarian alphabet) as a visual element with which we built the logo. We made the Z rounder to create a smoother overall picture. We placed the logo on a simple background, a rectangular sticker, reminiscent of a table runner, to make the overall picture more elegant and sophisticated.
Next, we worked on the surrounding visual universe of the brand. Sticking with the idea of simplicity, we tried to find symbols for the 4 main tastes. For this, we asked several people to draw shapes and colors while thinking of different tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter. Based on this input, we created “visual codes” that are easily interpretable for consumers to create a one-of-a-kind language that would inspire the client and also serve as an innovative interpretation for different types of food and culinary practices. It followed the same logic that all words do: saying them out loud will make you get a sense of their meaning or visualize them.
We were curious to find out whether this system worked with more abstract patterns on a menu or in a brochure. After developing the language, the slogan came naturally: the language of taste. And we named the brand’s executive chef, Ágnes Szörcsey, a food linguist. The overall picture, then, was this: a table set with small, tasty nibbles, a diverse set of bites, an abundance that is nonetheless still easily relatable.