Stone Way Cafe – Where Modenism Meets Tradition


by Shore Studio

Bitchin' Design

Shore Studio and goCstudio teamed up to create a modern cafe rooted from the local industrial history in the heart of Fremont, Seattle.

Who

Shore Studio. Beardy, ballsy full-service design studio that specialises in minimalist branding, web design, UX and print campaigns, based in Seattle.

For this project Shore Studio worked with an imposing geometric, concrete exterior structure and a softer interior of wood surfaces created by goCstudio to create a new brand identity that would blend in with the rich industrial history of the neighbourhood.

What

The graphical overhaul of beloved Seattle institution Stone Way Cafe, formerly known as the Tiny Ninja Cafe. This family-owned business serves the neighbourhood with hand crafted coffees and live music nights. Don’t miss the kale quesadillas.

Where

Fremont, Seattle, bastion of counterculture back in the day, still a magnet for freethinkers and creatives today. Known amongst the faithful as ‘The People’s Republic of Fremont’. Unofficial motto: De Libertas Quirkas (Freedom to be Peculiar). There’s a Czech statue of Lenin in the middle of town that’s dressed in drag during Gay Pride Week.

How

Inspired by the industry and personality of the neighbourhood, Shore focused on re-imagining the area’s industrial past. The graphics and signage paid tribute to the heritage of the area’s tradesmen. They created a no-nonsense typeface for primary signage, 15 custom graphics, and various branded items – making the cafe fit in and stand out.

Why

Stone Way Cafe is in some ways an expression of the area’s inevitable gentrification – but it is here seen in the building’s repurposing, moving from what is associated with industry—mechanisation, reproduction, and uniformity—to that of individuality and artistic expression.

We loved the ascetic, raw feel of the cafe, and how it somehow managed to create a homely backdrop for social gatherings and late-night degustations.

Author

Zaneta Stepien
Resident ZuQeenie