Constructed in 1851, 277 Flinders Lane in Melbourne’s CBD was originally built as a flour mill by William and Charles Degraves, eccentric businessmen with a significant impact on the city’s history. We were approached by the Millett Group who were transforming the basement into a unique underground bar and needed a name and visual identity developed that would do justice to the rich history of the building.
During our research we gradually uncovered a story full of personality and drama that informed every detail of the venue’s visual language. From the claims of miraculous healing powers to full-on resurrection, the tales entrenched in the history of the building were incredible and we wanted to re-tell them in a discoverable way. This resulted in the creation of a cabinet of curiosities, off-kilter imagery throughout and the full story painted on a wall in pictograms – word puzzles that form words and phrases and were a popular form of entertainment in the Victorian era.
Pulling cues from quirky typography of the time, we explored highly decorative styles with elaborate curves and intersecting character forms. This all came together to create a distinctive brand for The Mill House – one that feels as much at home in a DJ booth in neon lettering as it would in post industrial revolution Melbourne.