The Conservatory

2021 Selection

Designed by Evan McGuinness at Bielke+Yang

Graphic Design & Art Direction: Christian Bielke

Art Direction: Martin Yang

Animation: DIA Studio

Type Design: Colophon Foundry

Music: Andre Bratten and Smalltown Supersound

Categories: Identity

Industry: Commercial

Tags: Music / Typography / Food and drink / Identity / Motion / Motion Design / Animation


The Conservatory is Maaemo chef Esben Holmboe Bang's new cocktail bar in Bjørvika, Oslo. After creating a lounge downstairs on the nearby Maaemo, where guests can have a drink before and after their meal, the idea of a cocktail bar developed further. Inspired by Japanese listening bars (small intimate places where you drink cocktails and listen to music), Esben wanted to make a Scandinavian variant. A clear music profile was important, and the record company Smalltown Supersound was invited to collaborate. Esben has added the expertise of one of Norway's best bartenders, Anne Maurseth, who has worked at Oslo's best cocktail bars. The setting is humble, intimate and private. Here you indulge in a holistic experience consisting of music and good drinks, not unlike what you can expect at Maaemo.

The Conservatory is an extraordinary cocktail bar, which both challenges and plays with the senses. This is something we wanted to inform the identity; how could we disrupt the expectations of what a traditional identity should be? The music profile at The Conservatory is both abstract and cosmic - this has set the tone for the visual profile by creating a universe of living typography and sound. By using the custom typeface we developed out for Maaemo, we also keep a subtle but important link to Esben's restaurant. Mitch Paone, who founded DIA Studio, is also a passionate musician, so together with his team and electronic artist Andre Bratten, we created 12 abstract loops that we launched digitally before opening, without saying much more. This became an important taste of what patrons could expect - a holistic and unique experience you won't find anywhere else.