After working with Atomicdust on branding for Pastaria, Gerard Craft sought to redefine his flagship restaurant, Niche – an award-winning St. Louis staple where the food is elegant and the atmosphere is never pretentious.

Niche Restaurant Branding and Menu Design

Plumb and Square

During an early meeting, Gerard told us 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 simple tool that made it possible for architects to create amazing buildings and monuments. We considered that in relation to Niche and the process of making great food. The connection was clear: amazing things have simple beginnings.

The menus at Niche Restaurant
Inside Niche Restaurant
The Niche Restaurant Menu Design - pull out sleeves

A Menu That Surprises

People tend to visit Niche on special occasions, and we wanted opening the menu to feel like opening a present. We designed it 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 fully removed from the envelope, guests feel the full impact of the images. To add a bit of intrigue, the front of the menu has no printed ink – just embossed logo type.

For Niche, we visually deconstructed the recipes into separate ingredients and displayed them on the menus

Website and Mobile Site

In the spirit of simplicity, the new Niche website is contained on a single vertical page, where a swinging plumb-bob follows the visitor throughout the visit, guiding the eye with a straight, dividing line that dives underneath certain sections before reappearing above others. The restaurant can share news, new additions to the menu and images via the embedded Twitter feed, and a reservation button makes it easy for visitors to take action if they find themselves hungry for more.

Niche Branding Honored with Press and Awards

The Niche identity, menu and website design have been honored locally at the AIGA St. Louis Design Show 19 and 2014 American Advertising Awards. It has also been featured on a number of popular design blogs, including Identity Designed, Art of the Menu and designworklife.

Website design for Niche Restaurant