Writer. Traveler. Mystic. Scoundrel.
English Poet Percy Shelley was a man of many tales and, as of 2021, he was the inspiration behind Soho’s latest addition - Percy’s - conveniently on Shelley Street. The namesake is a tribute to his adventures. From a British exile to a voyager along the Italian coast, his journey ended with the ocean where he laid in his final resting place. It is only fitting that Percy’s specializes in responsibly sourced seafood, served in a cozy, collective space where all walks of life gather. It is a place Percy himself would be proud of.
Hong Kong being a coastal city means rich seafood traditions are very much embedded in the local palate. As a newcomer, Percy’s takes on an ambitious challenge: How do we break down conservative notions of seafood? Seafood in Hong Kong is plentiful but the perception is always the more expensive the better and the best is served in the most upscale environments. To Percy’s: Why not switch it around? They came to Kith&Kin with the intention to be a voice for the industry, proving that high-quality seafood can be affordable, sustainable, and all the while enjoyed in space you actually want to hang out till late.
With their challenge in mind, Kith&Kin kickstarted the process with a series of branding workshops to dive deep into those pillars. Our role was to uncover what makes them unique, to which Percy’s answered “genuine gangster”. Their rebellious attitude is met with a sense of authenticity and leadership, to disrupt the market in a way that is productive. This is reflected not only in their affordable prices but also within the space and through their palate. The cozy, dimly lit ambiance is curated to create a dining experience for all six senses, not conforming to a fine-dining setting or a crowded, loud Chinese restaurant. The culinary journey is multicultural, familiar but international so their guests are traveling through flavors and ingredients. They wanted this rebellious nature to be carried throughout their identity.
We took inspiration from one of ocean’s best treasures - mother-of-pearl. The iridescent shine stands out in a sea of textures and colours and when paired with a solid black, it appears to be gleaming even more. This came to be the primary color combination in the identity, paired with the occasional grey or green when suited. These two natural colors subtly complement the iridescence without overpowering the brand. Our logomark is the shape of sea glasses. Weathered by the ocean, there are no two identical sea glasses and that allows us to be playful with its form. It is also serves as a framing tool for photography where its wavy borders adds softness to the seafood images. The logotype is carefully selected to reflect the brand’s rebellion - its harsh corners mirrors Percy’s unruly charm, paired with rounded edges for legibility. As opposed to the old-style classic font type commonly seen in seafood dining, this font is an act of disruption to the industry. Beyond our logos, we introduced a set of sea creature icons as secondary graphic element. These range from familiar animals to rarer species (angler fish) and even mythical creatures. They add an air of mystery and another layer to the identity for further applications.
We received a request from the Percy’s team to built a single set of menus that can accommodate all patrons. Since the restaurant is split into two sections - the bar and raw bar versus the dining area - we had to consider how to consolidate all the content without overcomplicating the designs. When first open, the layout is designed to show drinks and raw bar items on both sides. Then guests can take a further step by opening up the tri-fold to see the full menu. This journey is tailored to encourage casual drinkers to have a quick glance at the raw bar offerings, with the dine-in patrons reading through the entire menu before reaching the mains.
Kith&Kin, working with interior designer Vivianne Moh and designer Richard Phipson, took the lead to narrate Percy Shelley’s story within the space. We brought his adventures alive by curating a comprehensive set of “artefacts” that filled the private dining room walls, as if Percy himself decorated the space with treasures found on his voyage. From vintage tridents inspired by Poseidon to seashells covered in graffiti, a half-broken oar to handmade nautical paintings, every artefact is created with a splash of rebellious spirit. Our team produced over 60 displays in the end, sprinkled throughout the upper dining space so VIP guests are truly immersed in Percy’s world.
Our work was extended all the way to the bathroom, where photos of old fishermen and Jeju diving ladies were plastered all over the walls. This is our tribute to the hard working men and women who built an incredible relationship with the ocean, unbothered by its roughness and unstable temper.
To complete the picture, we collaborated with local artist Taka (TAXA) to create a nautical-themed mural overseeing the main dining space. It proudly stands 8m by 5m with motifs that capture the energy of the area.
Percy’s opened to a big bang with rave reviews from Tatler Asia, SCMP, and Lifestyle Asia. Since its opening, Percy’s continues to roll out a range of experiences including their oyster shucking masterclasses.