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Tobias Hall is a freelance illustrator, letterer, designer and mural artist who also works closely with UK restaurant chain Zizzi as their in-house designer and art director. Since graduating in 2010, Tobias Hall’s impressive portfolio includes lettering for The Sun newspaper’s TV Magazine and a mural for the newly refurbished Holiday Inn hotel in Camden, London. Tobias recently re-designed the menu suite for Zizzi, embarking on a mission to inject further Italian inspiration and individuality into the brand.

Holiday Inn Mural | Photo Credit: Tobias Hall

We spoke to Tobias, finding out more about this exciting project…

Zizzi Menu | Photo Credit: Tobias Hall

Tell us a little about yourself; when did your interest in design begin?

I’ve always been interested in it, but never really thought I would make a career out of it until I finished university, and realised that I don’t really have any other options other than to try!

You have worked for Zizzi Ristorante since graduating in 2010. How has your role evolved during this time?

Massively. I started working with them when they asked me to paint a mural in one of their restaurants, having seen my work at an exhibition I did straight after graduating. After doing a couple more murals in a couple more restaurants, I just asked them if they had anything more permanent.

Luckily for me they were looking for someone just at the time I asked, so I was taken on as an in-house (but part time) artworker and photographer, taking photos of their refurbished restaurants and working on minor jobs. Since then, my role has developed into that of an art director, illustrator, designer and marketer, working with the marketing team on every comms campaign and even dabbling in copywriting from time to time.

You recently completely re-designed Zizzi’s menu suite- what was the brief for the project and did this change at all during the creative process?

Zizzi tweak their menu quite regularly, but this re-design needed to symbolise a substantial change in approach: we’d greatly reduced the dish count as well as included 13 new dishes and 15 improved. We also wanted to consolidate our wine and dessert menus into one document; in the past we’d separate menus for each, which meant customers were getting overwhelmed with all the collateral on their tables. Finally, we wanted to give the menus a more Italian feel that they had recently. We achieved that through bespoke vintage lettering and Italy inspired ornaments.

Zizzi Cambridge | Photo Credit: Tobias Hall

Zizzi Logos | Photo Credit: Tobias Hall

This re-brand signified a change for Zizzi Ristorante; how do you feel the end result impacts upon its place in the market?

I’m not sure its place in the market has changed at all. We just needed to bring focus to a visual identity which had lost its direction to an extent; for example in the past we’d given ourselves free reign to use whichever colours we wanted across comms, because we felt that would communicate our individuality as a brand, but actually it was just diluting our identity. The new colours we’ve chosen portray our brand values without us having to deviate from them.

What will be your next challenge?

I’m just about to finish up a series of self-initiated portrait illustrations of famous musicians, which I’m pretty excited about. After that I’m going to get to work on a new visual identity for my freelance practice, which should be a lot of fun!

Tobias Hall’s collaboration with Zizzi is a creative hit, conjuring up new levels of the restaurant’s existing identity. With an inspirational portfolio and a set of vibrant illustrations to follow we will be keeping a close eye on Tobias and his flourishing design talent!

Musician Portrait Liam Gallagher | Photo Credit: Tobias Hall

See more of Tobias Hall’s work HERE.