This project has been making waves throughout the social sphere lately, and for good reason. The brand identity design for Sapiens, a coffee shop in Ruse, Bulgaria, is absolutely strikingly primal without losing civility.
Ruse can be found along the Danube River in Bulgaria and it’s known as the City of First Things. Sapiens takes inspiration from this in its slogan, “Being first is our specialty” (Note that the image provided is misspelled.)
Primal style illustrations serve as the hallmark for the brand in their gorgeous black and white, gritty and highly angular presentation. These illustrations are the bedrock of the visual gravitas felt when viewing the brand and they are intelligently spread across touchpoints from the packaging through the interiors. Rarely repeated as the same composition, the illustrations set a visual language that quickly establishes the coffee shop brand as noticeable and unique.
A deep forest green is set the brands color. It feels connected to the landscape and also the source of the primary food item: coffee. Combined with the black and white illustrations, you have a moody and strong identity that’s intriguing to absorb.
I love how this finds its way into the interiors where the print and digital identity complements and accentuates the interiors. It doesn’t look like an afterthought. Instead it looks as though it was designed in harmony which is truly indicative of a fantastic restaurant brand experience.
The only criticism I have is that the print products look to have been shot outside of the four walls experience. You can tell by the introduction of moody lighting that’s nowhere to be found in the interior design imagery. The interiors are brightly lit with fluorescent lights everywhere meaning that the packaging and other printed items would never be seen in the light shown in the portfolio imagery.