Responses by Studio South
Background: Old Elephant House is a new brasserie and courtyard bar located at Auckland Zoo, in Auckland, New Zealand, set in the historic house where the elephants used to spend their days. Studio South was tasked with creating a playful brand to appeal to zoo visitors of all ages. With colorful hand-painted murals and interior design by Izzard, the perfect tone was set for family and friends to relax and enjoy the delicious food and drinks.
Reasoning: Drawing inspiration from animals and their jungle habitats, our identity features bright illustrative moments, bold type and a sneaky trunk-inspired wordmark. Retro tiki-style illustrations give a nod to the building back in its heyday when it housed the elephants.
Challenges: Painting a giant monster leaf just below the ceiling of an elephant-sized room! Tim and his team at Blink Boys did a great job of bringing our vision to life on the walls of the space.
Favorite details: We often find that the simplest ideas are the most effective. By adding a curve to the lettering, the wordmark becomes an elephant trunk. This little moment gives the brand extra personality.
Visual influences: We drew inspiration from 1950s tiki culture to create the illustration elements, which were hand-painted onto the brasserie walls and layered up into patterns for use across printed collateral.
Alternative approach: We wouldn’t do anything differently—it was an enjoyable brief from a great client, enabling us to flex our creative muscles to create a vibrant identity.