Alchemy Bar

Identity, graphic design and web designkissmiklos
PhotographyEszter Sarah
Interior designGáspár Bonta

Alchemy bar is located on the Strait Street, Valletta, in the capital of Malta. Valletta’s Strait Street is easily the most famous street in Malta. Known as Strada Stretta in Maltese, the street was the pinnacle of nightlife amongst American and British military men and Maltese frequenters between the 19th and mid-20th century. When I started to design the identity, I took it seriously to build it upon the traditions of alchemy, with continuous mentions and winks to the history, goals and philosophy of alchemy. The name is a perfect choice for a cocktail bar, allowing a lot of opportunities for a designer. The inverse ‘A’ letter in the logotype is a reference to the inverse triangle what means water and liquids, the letter ‘L’ is an inverse number seven, which has a secret meaning: this is the seventh unit on Strait Street. So the logotype is a playful code. The symbol in the logo comes from combining the icon for a coctail and a vial.

Based on the architectural design and Dante’s Divine Comedy, I separated the to three levels. The basement, with the restrooms, became hell - therefore I placed a ram there, with snakes for horns. The middle level, where the bar is, became purgatory. I designed a large picture here what hides the staircases leading to the other floors. The restrooms downstairs (hell) and the VIP upstairs (paradise) can be accessed through here. There is a warning sign on the doors and a large vulture-like creature offering the entrance leading to hell. There is a crossword puzzle wall on the level of the bar, with different notions, words and names about alchemy. For starters, there is two highlighted words: Purgatory - referencing the previously mentioned levels and Gold, as a reminder of the most important goal of alchemy: making gold. As a sign of coordination, the architect (Gaspar Bonta) designed an all red staircase leading to hell and an all green one leading to heaven. Althogh the architectural unison is contemporary, it aides the intensive appearance of the graphical identity. Creating a truly contemporary but playful interior, what educates and entertains in the same time. The secret or VIP room is a lounge space. There is only a tiny bit of graphical playfulness here, a halo compiled from rays of light. Standing in front of it makes us a divine being for a picture. The bar has seven signiture coctails, with symbolical names, what connects them to the concept of the identity. The main inspiration for the styling of the photos about the identity was the work of Caravaggio, who lived and worked at Malta, in fact two famous works of his are still located at St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta.

The fictional creatures featured in the identity were made from numerous copper and wood engravings. This is the basis of the graphical compositions. I have also matched the typo to the ones featured in the books of the original engravings.

The secret or VIP room is a lounge space. There is only a tiny bit of graphical playfulness here, a halo compiled from rays of light. Standing in front of it makes us a divine being for a picture.

The main inspiration for the styling of the photos about the identity was the work of Caravaggio, who lived and worked at Malta, in fact two famous works of his are still located at St. John’s Cathedral in Valletta.
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posted in: Graphic Design
tags: alchemybar brandingbar identitybranding identitycocktail bar identityengraving identityengraving illustrategraphic designillustrated branding designillustrated identity designmaltavalletta