Viscafé De Gouden Hoek is a restaurant which serves up a delicious homage to the classic ‘fish & chips’. De Gouden Hoek, meaning ‘the Golden Corner’, was an existing name from when the place was a Chinese supermarket. The client kept the same name, honouring the buildings history – a detail that links this to their other bar/ restaurant Piet de Gruyter for which we also provided work. Keeping in line with classics and history, we utilised traditional skills and hand crafts to provide a complete branding for the joint.
We designed the large window sign as an ode to the 1960s ‘Amsterdamse krulletter’, which we had refined by specialist Ramiro Espinoza of ReType Foundry, to ensure its authenticity. The sign was then painted by two of the city’s foremost signpainters Jasper Andries and Martijn Krabman. The rest of the identity uses a traditional Dutch font and lots and lots of potato stamps, including a potato stamped logo.
This project, as mentioned above, gave us the opportunity to use some golden-oldie techniques. One was the humble potato stamp, the other the Amsterdamse krulletter.
This curly, swooshy font known as de krulletter, was mostly used in the sixties, and was applied by hand on the windows of so called brown cafés throughout the city. Most of the examples were painted (and designed) by the grand-master of the font Leo Beukeboom. Once Mr. Beukeboom and his generation of signpainters retired, the technique and style were mostly forgotten, and are rarely to be seen in used on new establishments. Luckily for us, there’s been a recent revival of the font, fronted by Ramiro Espinoza. Ramiro has produced a digital recreation of the font called Krul and has spent time with today’s local signpainters, educating them in the technique.
We’re total suckers for this kind of revival story, so we got in contact with Ramiro and the signpainter Jasper Andries, and got them involved in the project, resulting a beautifully hand-painted sign on the restaurants main window. After the project was completed, Ramiro invited Leo Beukeboom to review the piece, and after evaluating the design, gave his approval and congratulated Jasper on the paintwork.
Much to our delight, the story of this fonts revival was picked up by one of our favourite publications, the famous Monocle Magazine, and an article was written which included the work done for the Viscafé in the February 2016 issue.
The restaurant continues to get good ratings, the Dutch newspaper Parool gave it an 8+ and noted it “found a gap in the market”.