El Toril is a Spanish gourmet burger restaurant in Madrid. We developed a brand identity that heavily utilises typography, illustration and motion, all infused with the brand's punk spirit.
El Toril Urban
Based on the Penrose / 'impossible' triangle, we created a typographic lockup as one of the secondary brand assets. Its triangular form mirrors El Toril's pre-existing bull icon. In addition, and in fitting with the underground theme, we illustrated a bunch of brand stickers to be used across designs and on food-delivery packaging.
One key aim for El Toril in 2023 was to highlight and promote their smash burger offering, for which we designed this secondary logo.
The brief was to create a wide range of separate, strong pieces which could be used together to form a layered identity in a punk-lite style. This lettering piece uses the half-tone shading also seen in the brand illustrations.
Another secondary logo was based around the Spanish copywriting “Aquí se come con las manos”. A phrase which translates literally to “Here you eat with your hands”, but that works a bit better (and sounds cooler) in Spanish.
The color palette is warm, bold, suitable for the vintage illustration style, and features red as the primary brand color.
We worked with the client to narrow down several key messages that were especially important. One was the idea of steering away from typical fast-food positioning and leaning into the idea of these being artisanal burgers that are meant to be savored.
These messages soon evolved into a set of badge designs that were prominently used across merchandise and throughout the entire identity. Left/top: a design based on the typical Spanish phrase "está de muerte", which can be roughly translated as "it’s to die for".
The still-life product photos seen above were created with the help of AI. Using a mix of Midjourney, Photoshop, and photos of the burgers themselves (shot by Carla Pino), we conceptualised 3 virtual set designs, and composited in elements suitable for each color.
The general tone is one of rebellion, and of punk food meeting gourmet quality. Right/above: a slot-machine motion piece.
T-shirt design and illustration promoting El Toril's 'tequeños', a typical Venezuelan side dish of speared bread dough with cheese in the middle (the founders themselves being Venezuelan).
Typography in the identity
Typography plays a starring role in the identity, mixing specific weights of Druk, Degular, and the open-source Space Grotesk. In addition, lettering and individual pieces of display type are used heavily throughout, such as this design for the Fat Boy Gang sub-brand. A wide array of typography, but with a shared rebellious spirit.
When opening their restaurant in Conde Duque, Madrid, El Toril turned to Nihil Estudio, a Spanish interior design firm based in Valencia. Using our brand assets as a base, El Toril and Nihil Estudio worked to design a bold space with several rooms, one of which became dubbed the 'Pink Room' in reference to El Toril's legendary pulled pork.
The layered sticker style of the identity can be seen on the takeout burger packaging. It's an especially adaptable and fluid system, one that can be paired with minimalist sections of block color when needed. This allows for areas of 'controlled chaos', and areas of tight, clean design. Such a system has a lot of advantages, whilst being harder to control in terms of consistency. In the case of a brand with one small team, such as El Toril, this is easy to manage and they can afford this degree of flexibility and fluid expression.