Saatchi & Saatchi Brand Design for Bennelong Restaurant Pays Tribute to the Historic Site

Saatchi & Saatchi was brought on board by the FinkGroup to create a Brand Identity for the premium dining offering in the Sydney Opera House, Bennelong.

The brand identity brief spanned the full breadth of the restaurant and customer experience. From the branding itself including the associated story and iconography, to all aspects of the restaurant; signage, menus, glassware, stationery - down to details of the staff uniforms. 

Tod Duke-Yonge (Head of Design, Saatchi & Saatchi) said, “It’s not often that you get to work on one of the World’s architectural icons, let alone do it with arguably Australia’s greatest chef. We were also very lucky to work with TZG Architects from an early stage to ensure the restaurant’s identity captured the unique spirit of the location.”  

The visual identity created was inspired by the site – its location, history and the Opera House building itself. Before 1788 Bennelong Point was an island. Women from
the local Aboriginal tribes would gather there. They would eat the local shellfish and pass on their stories and traditions to the younger generations.  

By taking references from the original location and its history as a shell midden and combining these influences with Jørn Utzon’s architectural blueprints of the House, the Visual Identity of Bennelong was created. 

A series of overlapping lines was created to bring the ‘o’ of Bennelong to life as a shell. This layering effect is representational of the site’s significance as a midden and is a key aspect of the branding. It also reflects Utzon’s skeleton-like sketches of The House in its earliest form. 

The Shell also represents the sites history as an island. Contributing to the ‘o’ as an island are as series of topographic lines emanating from it. These lines are a textural device, drawing the eye in to the centre of the Bennelong logotype.

Bennelong is this week opening to the public.


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