Superstar Mexican chef, Martha Ortiz, has brought her celebration of Mexico to London. Working with Martha, & SMITH named and created a brand for Ella Canta (Spanish for ‘She Sings’), which aims to deliver the beauty, colours, stories and spirit of modern Mexico to London.
Using ‘We Eat Colour’ as the strapline, the brand and identity plays with Martha being both an artist and a curator. Each dish is a masterpiece, full of narrative and colour.
Like a modern art gallery, Martha’s menu will change seasonally to re-tell another of Mexico’s enchanting stories. Her first menu, entitled ‘Painted Black’, is a celebration of Mexico’s Day of the Dead.
For each new season a different artist will be commissioned to interpret the new menu visually.
Dan Bernstein, creative partner, & SMITH says: “There’s a perception of Mexican food in London and the UK today, and it’s very different to the kind of food that Martha creates. Her food issurprising, refined, artistic – a big contrast to the more fast-casual Mexican experience we’re used to over here. We were keen to challenge thatperception and turn Mexican restaurant branding on it’s head. So a sophisticated high-end offer, without the cliché.”
To keep challenging perceptions, Ella Canta brings their guests unexpected stories of what’s happening in Mexico right now. Shared through their Instagram account and a special ‘Mexico Today’ section on their website, & SMITH created ‘Hoy’ (‘Today’ in Spanish). Previous stories range from a photo journey of Las Marias (A Mexican all-female motorcycle gang) to the story of Cabo Pulmo – the jewel of the Eastern Cape.
Alongside the logo and strapline, & SMITH also created a shorthand symbol which depicts a Jaguar (or Panthera Onca) – created to represent feline beauty, taking inspiration from Aztec symbols in Central Mexico.