We all know how important healthy living and a healthy diet is, and an increasing number of us are choosing to live a ‘free-from’ lifestyle, meaning the elimination of gluten, dairy, wheat and refined sugar from our diets. You may have heard that only people with coeliac disease need to cut out gluten from their diets, but you might not be aware of all the health benefits associated with a free-from diet which can include improved cholesterol levels as well as increased digestive health and energy levels.
For this reason two advocates for the free-from lifestyle, Andy McGlynn and Katie McIntosh have decided to launch a restaurant in Manchester city centre, dedicated to providing free-from food that not only has serious health benefits, but is also absolutely delicious.
Serving treats made entirely from natural ingredients, sourcing organic and local produce wherever possible, the menu at 3Squared Café is completely free from a selection of inflammatory ingredients including gluten, dairy and refined sugar.
Catering to everyone from vegans and vegetarians to coeliacs, diners are able to enjoy a wide selection of tasty and well-presented dishes.
After seeing a bespoke LED sign we’d recently produced for one of our customers – Pot, Kettle, Black Coffee shops – Andy approached us at The Binary Box to see if we could come up with a complete signage solution, including two custom-made light boxes for their new restaurant opening in the Grade 2 listed Royal Exchange Arcade in city centre Manchester.
Over the last couple of years, the popularity of LED lighting has quickly spread into bespoke illuminated signage projects, namely light boxes, due to the fact that LED lighting strips can be installed to units of any shape or size, whereas previously, light box dimensions were somewhat dictated by the size of the neon or halogen lamps within the light boxes themselves.
The unit 3 Squared obtained within the Royal Exchange Arcade consists of an old fashioned shop-style frontage with window bays to the left and right hand side of the main entrance door, leading to the restaurant space itself, with additional seating and the kitchen and service areas downstairs.
This project was planned to take place in two phases; firstly when 3 Squared obtained the lease on the property, our job was to apply a full coverage window graphic – incorporating 3 Squared’s branding – onto the property. This was to maintain a veil of secrecy behind the plans for the restaurant styling whilst the building and interior design work was being undertaken.
We firstly applied a full-colour vinyl, printed showing a marble texture – 3 Squared’s corporate style – to the windows and door glazing, and then overlaid these with a rose gold text describing the restaurants ethos, and then it was time to start on the design and production of the remainder of the signs and graphics to be ready for the restaurant opening.
For phase two of the project, we were asked to provide signage for the existing restaurant fascia, some exterior A-boards and cafe barriers, some wall graphics and interior wayfinding signage in the restaurant itself, as well as a window graphic installed to work alongside the aforementioned bespoke LED lightboxes, both of which were fabricated completely in house by our production team.
The LED unit to be part of the larger window graphic display is of a circular design, completely wrapped in rose gold, with the company’s marble branding showing through on the illuminated face. ‘3 Squared Restaurant’ and their web address was installed as a rose gold graphic onto the exterior of the window. Visually, the lightbox being on the interior of the property and the graphics being applied to the exterior of the glazing worked really well together and looks incredibly effective. The other lightbox unit, also wrapped in rose gold, although larger in size, is fitted within the smaller window bay and covered with a translucent , tensioned fabric having the restaurant menu printed onto it. This unit was installed using suspension wires and as with the circular sign, all the wiring was taken up into a suspended ceiling space that had been prepared in advance for us with electric connection points.
For the fascia signage we applied dark blue laser-cut acrylic lettering to the space available reading ‘Brunch, Lunch, Coffee. Free From. As Nature Intended.’ completely summing up 3 Squared’s company ethos. Similarly, simple but effective designs were included on the A-boards which stand outside the restaurant, and also the printed cafe barriers.
Giving the Binary Box the challenge of helping us to create the finishing touches to Manchester’s first ‘free from’ cafe, their quick and efficient input made all the difference from taking a completed fit-out and detailing every minor element to bring the place to life