Within my Communication Design program, students have the opportunity to conceptualize and design a restaurant. For this project I decided to bring the benefits of mushroom coffee to light by creating Anthro, an underground mushroom coffee cafe. Mushroom coffee is becoming increasingly popular with coffee enthusiasts because of its health benefits. Anthro Underground Cafe tells the story of fungi by emphasizing that mushroom coffee is the future of coffee.
The name Anthro is derived from the word anthropomorphic, which refers to having human characteristics. Naturally, this relates to the name as humans share about 50% of their DNA with fungi. The Cafe is underground because like mushrooms, Anthro wants to grow a network of health conscious coffee-lovers & friends alike. Design elements contain patterns and artwork made of real mushroom spore prints to bow a nod to fungi. Inspiration is pulled from mid-century modern design, and fused with holographic and iridescent treatments to give a funky, futuristic feel. These styles and design elements work together with the goal to show the consumer just how unique and special mushrooms are. Elements are applied to a letterhead stationery set, a die-cut trifold menu, promotional cards, takeout packaging, and a table setting.
This project is a personal success. My love for designing niche and somewhat unconventional projects was the driving force to create this restaurant concept as a vibrant and lively addition to my portfolio. This futuristic twist to a nostalgic style draws in the eye and leads the consumer to rethink the idea of fungi, and become immersed in the many possibilities of mushroom coffee.