Brand View: Carluccio’s


review of brands that use creative and effective graphic design…

CarlucciosCarluccio’s is a brand that consistently uses high quality design, which is always evolving, to perfectly match the restaurant experience. It is the complete package. It was started by Priscilla and Antonio Carluccio in 1998.

Good design is embedded in the culture

BiscuitsGood graphic design runs through the whole experience, from the posters and menus, to the packaging in the store. There don’t appear to be any specific brand guidelines, in terms of a constrictive set of rules. The consistency comes in the approach and understanding of what they are all about and the brand experience is richer for it. This is a good example for any company – flexibility and room to adapt over time are important to stay relevant and interesting.

The brand and all design work have been handled, since 2001, by Julian Roberts at Irving & Co. Various illustrators, artists and designers are used on specific projects, and have recently included Marion Deuchars, Malika Favre and Jordan Metcalf.

“Priscilla’s vision for Carluccio’s was inspired by Milan and the way in which tradition and modern design are combined to create visual excitement.” (1)

The restaurant is successful as it captures the essence of eating in Italy. Importantly, this is supported by the design, which avoids the clichés and aims for the heart and soul of the experience.

This is perfectly encapsulated in the approach to the packaging design which really is the star of the show. Wonderful, visual design in many different forms which fill every inch of the shops – creating places you want to explore.

Inspiration and authenticity

Marcello Nizzoli

A 1920s Campari poster by Marcello Nizzoli

Erberto Carboni

A 1950s Barilla poster by Erberto Carboni

Malika Favre

Carluccio’s panettone packaging 2013 Illustration by Malika Favre


Carluccio’s panettone packaging 2014 Typography by Jordan Metcalf

Italy is seen as the epitome of elegance and sophistication. It has a rich heritage of graphic design, such as the poster design of Erberto Carboni and Marcello Nizzoli, promoting Italian life, culture, the cities, and of course the food and drink. The designers take this love of Italian food and culture as a starting point and develop packaging which is both timeless and exciting.

For packaging inspired by the city of Bologna, Favre says “What really struck me in Bologna was the light and contrast it created, so I decided to focus on the shadows that the architecture was casting rather than the elements themselves. I then added little narrative elements in order to create some depth and tell a story on each box.” (2)

The use of typography is a key element in the design, the mixing of classic styles, often Art Deco, with a contemporary aesthetic. This is most effective as seen on this year’s panettone box packaging.

Creative typography has never been more popular, this includes a resurgence for hand-drawn type and signwriting. A wish to recreate a vintage style, seen in film titles such as The Artist (see here for a detailed typographic post-mortem), to any number of craft-based makers and resurgent trades. A virtual world craves the real life experience, the artisan craft and the personal touch. The Caroluccio’s brand captures all of these.

In short…

The design is successful because as well as being executed with exemplary craft and attention to detail, it has a wit and charm that is both warm and inviting. The flexible approach to the visual brand always keeps things fresh and exciting.

(1) Interview with Julian Roberts – The Foodie Bugle
(2) Interview with Malika Favre – Creative Review