Creative agency Free The Birds reveals its first project in the hospitality industry – bold and sophisticated brand identity and interior look-and-feel for the Sri Lankan Kitchen – Karapincha. The new brand positioning and strategy will support the brand’s expansion plans.
Launched in 2018 by two twin sisters – Vasanthini and Dharshini Perumal, Karapincha brings family recipes to life in the form of Sri Lankan cafes and small kitchens around London. With decades of dishes passed through generations, Karapincha tasked the creative team at Free The Birds with elevating the brand for the next stage of its business growth. The overarching masterbrand The Sri Lankan Sisters was born to encapsulate all new ventures under one roof, enabling the twin sisters to branch out.
With stalls at Spitalfields Market and Mercato Metropolitano, Free The Birds had to sharpen the brand identity and create a wider narrative around the kitchens to help them compete with the other quick-bite restaurants. Karapincha’s innovative offering is centred around “The Flavour of Family” tagline, which provided inspiration for the brand world as it reflects Karapincha’s origin story and its cultural heritage.
The name “Karapincha” comes from the Sinhala word for curry leaf, which is one of the primary herbs in Sri Lankan cuisine. However, the design team felt the need to hone in on the brand name and break it into syllables (KARA-PIN-CHA) to enhance brand recall and recognition. The refreshed logo design sits in an attractive square with two small circles between the vowels, which symbolise the two twin sisters. Bespoke patterns around the two circles have been implemented across social media and interior design.
“We developed ownable assets and brand guidelines that spread across packaging design, social media, and menu flyers to highlight Sri Lanka’s extraordinary culinary evolutions with its melting pot of regional food traditions. The brand’s distinctive colours of deep heritage green and a vibrant spicy orange, inspired by the country’s flag, are balanced with accent colours, based on unique spice palettes to reinvigorate Karapincha’s cultural heritage.” – adds James Hardy, Designer, Free The Birds
Free The Birds also worked alongside interior designer Tola Ojuolape for Kaparincha’s upcoming restaurant in Canary Wharf. The creative agency wanted to create a sense of being transported to another time and place, reminiscing of family Sri Lankan gatherings, where authentic communal cooking and eating would have taken place. This warmness and softness are countered by the bespoke creative signage, wallpaper and canvases spread throughout the restaurant to give it a playful, modern twist.
Nick Vaus, Partner and Creative Director, Free The Birds: “As an agency, we’re all about showcasing Beautiful Thinking. To us, that includes designs that emotionally elevate you, have purpose, and are easily transferable across a brand’s many communications touch points. Drawing on the Sri Lankan cultural motif, the refreshed brand identity finds the perfect balance between heritage and contemporary design cues. As our first project in the restaurant space, we wanted to develop a brand that can be scaled-up and highlight The Sri Lankan Sisters’ entrepreneurial spirit.”
Vasanthini Perumal, co-founder of Karapincha / The Sri Lankan Sisters, commented: “Opening another location in London meant that we needed to be brave with the design in order to attract customers. We understand the value that design brings to a company, especially in this industry, so we needed a strategic partner who can elevate the Karapincha brand. The team at Free The Birds rose to the challenge and delivered on their promise of bringing clarity and edgy creativity that resembles our culinary evolution and brand heritage.”