Wine & Love
It is sad to write that one of my favorite restaurants & wine bar is closing. For 10 years the owner Eva Gustavsson had evolved a city café into an amazing nordic cuisine which last year was nomination as the most sustainable restaurant in Sweden .
I have had the privileged be a part of this fantastic place, by developing their website and visual storytelling and I hereby take the time to reminisce and explain what we did:
I made a parallax website www.moccasin.se since I love the way images scroll into the text and design. Its an amazing tool to place all the stories and info of food & wine and music into a website and it has a beautiful flow of depth.
One of the first thing we did was to reinvent a new logo for social media. The long name Moccasin - vin & Kærlighed was made into mvk, where there is an upside down wine bottle in the v. Visuel ingenious subtlety is one my favorite marketing strategies.
Being danish, some thought that it was my idea to spell the tagline Kærlighet in the danish way, without knowing its old swedish and the danish way of spelling love is with a very soft d, with the tongue halfway out, impossible for none-danes to pronounce! However, nothing I to do with it; Eva wanted to spell the old swedish way, like making the food and serving like in the old days.
We also received a lot of comments for using the term hygga, Initially I wanted the menu bar to be different and more eventful and since we had dricka, äta, blogga, boka, it became tastefull and poetic to use Hygga:
The term Hygga is also mistaken for being danish, although spelt with an e in Denmark; Hygge. The southern part of sweden was previously danish soil until the 16th century and our languages can be describe as very similar. However many danish words did not survive the dust of time in Sweden and I therefore went to the Lund university library to find the correct swedish meaning of hygga, which is basically is the same as danish: To be in good company and the ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures: friends, family and graciousness.
Usually I ask my client of an detailed description of their business, but Eva had made a manifesto, I added the taglines, Scanian cuisine, since the food was based on the ecological ingredients from the nearby land where they grow their local food, hence the other tagline - Let the people travel, the commodity stay.
The poppy flower was controversial and naturally I did not want anyone to associate Moccasin with opium. I unwittingly found it as a cover on an old socialist magazine while being in Lunds University searching for Hygga ( the word, not the therm : ). The deeper inner meaning of the poppy flower is that of serenity and peace, but to be honest, it looked nice and fitted the graphic identity and that people would have something to talk about it they recognised the poppy; for me controversy is to balance commercial communications and I love subliminal messages which can add to a profound buzz.
Next up was to display their contemporary activity on their instagram account, which all of the staff could participate in and it such a simple and easy way of marketing by connecting the website and facebook. However Eva did not want the dull instagram icon or to write "follow us on instagram", so integrated their instagram in a more subtle way; their name on instagram is Moccasinen and I used the instragram font Billabong and an old polaroid camera, which initially was the inspiration for Instagram's logo. the camera also suited the interior of the restaurant, being mostly retro and second hand.
The stripes of colour was in the old polaroid camera, symbolising the colour sprectrum but also diversity and love, from the ancient Buddhist rainbow flag till the now more contemporary LGTB meaning, and it made sense, since everybody is welcome at moccasin.
In order to create the visual identity I did not prioritizes to make pictures of food, to be honest, social media is flooded with amazing food pics; it is easy to become fed up on food photos even on an empty stomach, so I went with Eva and her staff on a journey to the countryside. The chef, Mattias Laderyd told me about his philosophy of letting it grow letitgrow, ( which he afterward tagged as #ladetgro ) , meaning to be patient and taking the time it takes for the ingredients to fully develop, a imbroglio in our fast food society. A great example was a cauliflower he showed me , "if you let it grow, the cauliflower will evolved into a tasty garnish," As a gesture I choose the cauliflower in bloom to be first picture for the website, which suited Eva, being a vegetarian ( however serving eco'local meat )
Another main ingredient in the atmosphere of Moccasin was not only food and drink but the music, presented in the same way as being local, soulful and full of heart, Eva teamed up with alot of musicians among others, Gudrun Hauksdottir & Palle Tenfalk who presented: May You Never - A live club for acoustic music which turned Moccasin into a live concert livingroom every other thursday. Naturally I was there to enjoy, hang, dance and shoot in order to cover the Hygga section as a part of strengthening the visual identity and personality of Moccasin.
Featuring Brothers Of End with Lasse Johansson from The Cardigans, Magnus Tingsek, Sebastian Lilje, Josephine Forsman from Sahara Hotnights, Erik Börén just name a few of the local world celebrities.
Eva's endeavour from turning the cafe she started a decade ago, into a vibrant and visionary restaurant has now come to an end, and I look back at memorable moments . The cooks of Moccasin showed me the backstage of their restaurant scene and Eva and her sommeliers enlightened me with great passion about a new wine world,
So here is to Eva & all the Moccasinians!