Client: El Nacional
Location: Shanghai


  • Brand identity and development
  • Brand and in-store collateral
  • Signage
  • Wall art

Find El Nacional (LG139) at Taikoo Hui, one of Shanghai’s biggest lifestyle landmarks. Four food stations, four set of signage – tell us your favourite. #ballsdeepinpaint

For more project details, contact our Imaginate™ team here.

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Sometimes you win clients by talking really loudly in the boardroom. Sometimes, with a bottle of mojo picon sauce and strange fate, you win them just by being… you.

That’s how El Nacional came about when a long term client sent us a draft of his new restaurant logo in an MS Word doc. Just one look, and we had to intervene. Spanish Inquisitiveness be damned.

Truth is, we were right for the job – we had the Spanish Fly on our side! An authentic Spaniard from the Canary Islands who, besides swearing fluently in Spanish, never failed to point out how much our pronunciation sucked every time we copy-checked the menu by reading it aloud.


The design of El Nacional in Shanghai was inspired by its namesake in Barcelona, where different stalls represent the multitude of dishes and cuisine Spain has to offer. If you’re from Spain, this means choice. In China though… majority of mainland consumers are familiar with paella, but the buck might stop there.

To ensure the restaurant appealed to local customers, we decided on four key signage that would act as a beacon for diners between the main food stations. We used a clean and elegant typeface for the logo and all in-store branding, conveying a simple warmth to help Chinese consumers feel settled, and at home.