Radio Cafe

A cafe for music lovers.

The Backstory
Two years into our Sharespace¬†branding exercise (Canada’s largest office transformation program), we were enlisted to create the environmental design program for a new 500 seat cafe/thoroughfare. Collaborating with HOK / Steelcase architects and Rogers Radio leads to launch The Radio Cafe.

The companies radio roots started in 1924 when Ted Rogers invented the first all-electric radio. An investment that has since grown to owning and operating over 50 national radio stations. The Radio Cafe is a full-on drum solo to the music, artists, history, and nostalgia that the company has lived through.

Art Direction, Brand Identity, Copywriting, Digital/Print Collateral, Environmental Graphics, Event Branding, Naming, Photography Direction
Creative Director
The Full Story
Just The Basics

The Journey
Bringing a century of musical history, iconography, and energy to life within one space was no easy task. We started the program by spatially segmenting and defining the key areas of usage. Next, we built a supporting visual strategy based on human interaction. Transition, pause, and experiential areas were brought to life through historical Canadiana visuals. Utilizing linger moments and distance to alter the user views and volume of information, bold classic iconography from afar turn into musical song lyrics on closer inspection.

The base of the visual identity is inspired by a retro on-air / building sign reflective of traditional neon tube lighting. The letterforms strokes, create the primary marks and are stretched into a continuous liner pattern system throughout all brand elements. A reminder of neon tubes, electronic wires, sound waves, edges of records or tapes. The system visually connects the physical space while reflecting the timelines of the company’s (and its employees’) connection to the music industry. Working with a local artist, we then stylized Canadian musicians into pointalized, graphic art.

The areas are broken into segments: (1) two coffee shops, (2) a history zone highlighted with a two-story steel shelf, old ads,¬†and Ted’s signature wall, (3) an autographed memorabilia entrance area, (4) a music icon art installation (5) a rainbow mosaic of classic album sleeves. Our team designed the graphic program: identity, entrances, spatial graphics, memorabilia builds, animated video loops, and restaurant POP communications.

History / Shelf
Entering from the main floor, guests are welcomed with an expansive staircase highlighted by a two-story, historical shelving unit. The structure houses retro radios, parts, and old advertisements. Some openings designed with two spaced out glass panels creates a real-time parallax in graphics as viewers walk by.

Two restaurants, ‘R & Bean and ‘The Beat’ keep staff well caffeinated.

The two story shelf steps through time and floors.

Feature / break out areas add pop and personality to the space.