Kids Cafe Piccolo by Podium

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Korean designers Podium have completed a cafe in Seoul, Korea, which is designed specifically for children.

Called Kids Cafe Piccolo, the interior is made up of a cafe, play room, library, locker rooms and storage.

London branding and design agency VONSUNG designed the cafe’s branding and packaging.

KIDS CAFE PICCOLO, Seoul, Korea – completed June 2009

The brief was a very fun one.  Children’s cafes are flourishing in Tokyo and Seoul.

While majority of the cafes cater towards adults with a slight accommodative approach to their children, KIDS CAFE PICCOLO took a whole different view.

They wanted to create a space where the ‘children’ was the protagonists and their parents were the ancillary customers.

We were commissioned to design the entire identity, branding, packaging, art direction and interiors.

Our inspiration started with us acting as children ourselves and to reminisce what/how we were fixated on.

Stirring up imagination was key to our design ideation process and thus maintaining the naivety of the children’s minds was of the utmost importance.

Life should be fun combined with a learning experience.  We created a mini children’s world for the little ones.


Led by the project management team, Podium, London-based branding design studio VONSUNG collaborated with Podium to design for the overall art direction, naming, branding, print, collateral, packaging, uniform, way-finding and website. Many of these design items were used in unusual ways by fresh-thinking VONSUNG to add extra interest to the first show café for children.

VONSUNG decided to use a number of the branding products in the café, challenging the preconceived uses of the pieces and turning them into idiosyncratic design statements for the patrons.  The identity of the café was created using Roman alphabet characters to make learning more enjoyable and interactive.

A café designed for children has recently been launched in Seoul, Korea’s popular Koo-yi-dong. KIDS CAFÉ PICCOLO has been designed for children and their parents to offer a playground, a playroom, a party room, a library and a café.

The high-end concept has been reflected in the interior architecture and design of the inaugural flagship café, branded KIDS CAFÉ PICCOLO, which features traditional decorative finishing products that have been turned on their heads to provide quirky features that complement the ultra modern and interactive living space which are seen at typical adult cafes around Seoul, Korea.

In the spacious playing area, lengths of timber floor planks were used at perpendicular angles across one wall to create a series of rectangles and squares, reminiscent of a tree house. The feature PLAYROOM, STORE and LIBRARY was then painted a cool pastel colour to complement the flooring and the bright furnishings. In the PARTY ROOM, ceiling roses were used in concentric circles to form a crisp white design on a rich colored wall.

“KIDS CAFÉ PICCOLO was designed to offer a fairy tale feeling for children with an adult-like atmosphere for their parents to enjoy,” said Joseph Sung, creative director of VONSUNG, the branding design agency responsible for the overall branding design of the complex. “We wanted to reflect this with Podium’s interior of the café, giving it the wow factor that you’d expect from a premium, design-led coffee shop in Seoul. With many feature graphic walls in the main dining and play room space it was particularly useful for us to be able to cover the walls using educational graphic – we thought of astrological signs for the children to connect the dots.”

When KIDS CAFÉ PICCOLO was completed in March 2009 it will have been a two-months project to develop, which is located in a leafy street designed to appeal to young commuters who want to make use of Koo-yi-dong ‘s quick transport links into central Seoul. The first flagship café has proved a real selling point and VONSUNG is hoping to bring the idea of a café catered for children to other cosmopolitan cities such as London, New York, Paris, Milan, etc.


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