The spirit of Mediterranean hospitality
Little Algiers Café

When Djamel Cherguit, and his wife Lisa, approached Designworks to create a brand identity for their cafe, they had a name, Little Algiers, a space, on 537 Karangahape Road, and a particular vision of Mediterranean hospitality that they were passionate to share. Along with this richness came the generosity of spirit and la joie de vivre (joy of dining and conversation), for which Algiers, where Djamel is from, is well known.

From this came the idea of everything hinging on “A little taste of Algiers” and this became the way that we talked about things on signage and on the menu. Coupled with this attitude were references to the city itself.  The typical city views of Algiers are crowded with traditional white buildings giving rise to the name Algiers le Blanche or Algiers the white.  This influenced the use of many white objects huddled together in the brand photography, a great contrast with the bright, earthy palette and patterns as well as the café’s strong geometric, Kufic-square inspired logo and design system.

These traditional elements of colour and pattern have been sharpened via the modern photography and designed elements into a clean and inimitable identity that speaks of the spirit of Little Algiers.  As Lisa puts it “The new branding has given us a café that is fresh, warm and welcoming – a real piece of Algiers here right on K Rd.”  In a project where the clients are so much a part of the identity itself, the close working relationship with designer, Nicky Walsh, has been really rewarding on both sides.  The chance, as Nicky explains, to “go out and produce the signs and hand do a lot of things”, such as the logo-stamped cups, price tags and hand-painted signage, spoke to the very personal style of hospitality that Little Algiers is all about as well as meeting the very real needs of the client in terms of costs and the manageability of the brand going forward.