Restaurant Branding + Photography
April 2019

éphémère is a French cuisine restaurant, which is inspired by the Symbolism art movement and specifically by Charles Baudelaire’s poetry. The notion of juxtaposition in Baudelaire’s symbolism poems—both beauty and ugliness, life and death—greatly influences the visual identity of this restaurant. This restaurant provides a safe and private space with a Gothic aesthetic for its customers to be weird—means it is not necessary to follow the social norms and conventions here when they’re having meals.

the beauty of decadence,
death and eroticism


Logo Design

Éphémère is a French word that means ephemera, a kind of insect that has a very short life span. The insect motif suggests that nothing is everlasting, and its body is substituted by a vertical eye, which corresponds to the Gothic pessimism and morbid eroticism among the symbolism art movement. The vintage texture of both wordmark and logo reinforces the sense of fading and vanishing.

• Logo in Use

The signage outside of the restaurant.
The exterior of the restaurant
The logo on the window.

Color palette

The color of éphémère restaurant is inspired by the afterlife of living things—rotting.

C60 M70 Y65 K75
R44 G29 B28
C30 M100 Y75 K30
R146 G13 B43
C35 M65 Y50 K0
R178 G109 B108
C35 M10 Y20 K0
R177 G206 B205
C10 M5 Y8 K0
R234 G238 B235


Éphémère, ephemera, is decaying. The type delivers the same feeling. A non-digitized typeface could give the strongest support to the logo with the idea of fading away. I used a manual technique, Xerox machine, to create texture by making copies on copies of the non-digitalized typeface.


This is an analogue typeface called Troy Type found in a typeface specimen book.

Secondary Typeface

Parisine Plus is made by Jean François Porchez, Typofonderie


The patterns used in éphémère restaurant combine the image of rose and handwriting. Overlay the collage of hand-writing related to Baudelaire (one of the pioneers in Symbolism art movement) with a pattern of writhed rose; it is used for wallpaper, napkin and facade painting outside the restaurant.



Poetry + Rose

French cuisine is elegant and high-end, but éphémère French cuisine is not only elegant but also implicitly brutal. Books of poems are symbols that represent the monde, while the withered rose indicates death.


Visual Identity

The photography is used to further illustrate the visual identity of éphémère restaurant. It delivers feelings of elegant, dark, subtle, and quiet.


The photography is also used for promoting the restaurant on Instagram.

restaurant interior

Secrete Space

The interior of éphémère restaurant uses a lot of dark colors providing a feeling that it is a hidden place for people who want to escape from their reality for a few moments.

Table Utensils

éphémère restaurant uses vintage silver table utensils. The logos of éphémère restaurant are embossed on to the silver forks and knives. There is a line from Baudelaire’s poetry embossed on the edge of each plate. The napkin is a dark red with an embroidered rose pattern.

© 2020 by Alice Niu/All rights reserved