Set within the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel on Hong Kong Island, is cocktail bar Argo. GSM investigates how the Four Seasons Hong Kong approached Adelaide-based design studio, Mash. And the journey to create a name, brand identity and collateral items for a new high-end bar offering.
The Ship ‘Argo’
After creative development and workshopping, the name chosen was ‘Argo’. Steeped in Greek mythology, around the story of ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and their fabled quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece, Argo was the ship Jason sailed in search of the treasure. As a high-end bar, Argo is also on a quest— to claim the world’s most innovative collection of spirits and cocktails. The team revel in unfamiliar flavours, carefully considered collaborations, and extraordinary Spirits. And, in case you are wondering, it is by no means a coincidence that Mash chose the Golden Fleece, a symbol of leadership and authority.
In order to pay homage to the mythical origins of the brand name, Mash created a beautiful 3D rendering of a fictitious flower. This is at the heart of the Argo identity. The flower is an unknown species from an imaginary, vibrant ‘yet to be discovered’ land. The conceptual flower also appears as an animated sequence on social media. The logotype is elegantly simple, with flowing forms to compliment the imagery.
Argo Print Collateral
In addition to brand identity, the team at Mash created a collateral suite, including an in-house cocktail menu, a VIP gift box housing a foldout take-home cocktail list, and the Argo Field Guide book.
The Argo Field Guide is a case-bound (hard cover) book showcasing selected innovative spirit producers from around the world—and how Argo collaborated with them to create new flavours and cocktail experiences. American Artist Bruce Riley created stunning imagery for the cover and the chapter sections—adding an explosion of colour through his unique style of wet-on-wet mixed media. Accompanying the text are images, shot by Australian photographer Tomas Friml, of the various products and the resulting cocktails. The imagery uses reflective colour, each hue representing one of the book’s five sections. Lush indeed. Cocktail anyone?
Creating that Lush Feeling
In keeping with the lush feel of the brand, paper stock was an important consideration during the design process. The stocks used for the in-house cocktail menu are Ball & Doggett Colorplan Lavender for the internal pages, teamed with Mohawk Superfine Smooth Ultra White for the cover. The Argo Field Guide uses the same Superfine stock for the internal pages with Colorplan Ebony for the end papers.
Argo Gift Box
The VIP two-part gift box comprises a male/female lid & base constructed using two Ball & Doggett stocks: Colorplan Ebony (black), and Colorplan Lavender for the foiled slip-sleeve. Included in the gift box is a fold-out cocktail list printed on Ball & Doggett Mohawk Superfine Smooth Ultra White.
GSM would like to thank Dom Roberts and Pat Mehbrei @Mash Design (Adelaide) for their contribution to GSM magazine.