Gretel has created the brand identity for POPL, the newly opened burger spot from the team behind the acclaimed Copenhagen restaurant noma. Opened in the city's Christianshavn neighborhood, POPL was inspired by noma's summer burger season earlier in the year and is built around a simple premise of being a place for everyone to come together.
"The team at POPL bring a devotion to creativity and craft, an attention to detail, and dedication to service in everything they do," commented Daniel Edmundson, Strategy Director, Gretel. "We worked closely with the team to align on the values and beliefs that we want people to feel, reflecting an inclusive and welcoming approach."
The noma team approached Gretel with a brief to help turn their concept into a brand, advising on everything from the strategy and naming, to the visual identity. "In partnership with POPL, we've created a brand that's warm, playful, and inclusive," said Dylan Mulvaney, Head of Design, Gretel. "And like the restaurant's menu, the brand invites everyone to the table for a familiar but forward-thinking experience."
The POPL experience is designed to bring people together, which is reflected in its purpose: to extend a seat to everyone. Gretel worked with the team at POPL to develop this purpose as part of a brand strategy to create community, build authenticity and establish distinction. And as the restaurant and hospitality navigate the continued effects of COVID-19, the brand was designed with a sense of adaptability and to be resilient to unexpected change.
POPL created a simple menu: burgers - organic Danish beef and vegetarian or vegan patties handmade in the noma fermentation lab - seasonal sides, ice creams, and a list of favorite wines, beers and non-alcoholic beverages. The menu is currently available for takeaway for guests to bring home or eat by the nearby Copenhagen Harbour, and will return for dine-in in the new year.
To communicate POPL's playful, inclusive attitude, Gretel created a graphic language and signature behavior inspired by the burger's forms and format.
"Like the burger itself, POPL is a combination of playful ingredients," Mulvaney explained. "The burger's ingredients inspired a library of geometric, graphic forms. The burger's format inspired the signature behavior: stacking. This meaningful and memorable behavior drives layout and movement. The graphic forms, type, and image can stack on their own or be mixed together. The system allows for variation and expression while being consistently recognizable."
And rather than creating a separate symbol and wordmark for POPL, Gretel combined these elements into one, drawing a rounded, monoline wordmark that's vertically stacked. Hidden within the wordmark is a symbol that's both a shorthand for POPL and an emoji conveying the sense of fun, excitement and happiness they create.
The distinct and playful POPL brand identity can be found at every touchpoint of the guest's experience - from the restaurant's online, mobile and social media presence, restaurant signage, printed and digital menus, sustainable takeaway packaging, staff uniforms, and branded merchandise. POPL's takeaway bags are a perfect example of their inclusive tone, with a suite of reactive wordmarks to be printed on the bags, so that when lined up at the takeout window, each bag appears unique.
Photos: Courtesy of Gretel