Cannes Lions

21 Sid: Dolce Handmade

WILLIAMS MURRAY HAMM, London / 21 SID / 2019

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Laura Lo Faro is an entrepreneurial, self-taught Sicilian baker. She successfully ran the much loved Goswell Road Café in London and owns the Biscuit Badger, an artisan bakery business.

In 2018 she realised her dream to create an authentic Italian coffee shop at 21 Sidworth Street in the heart of Hackney, one of London’s most vibrant neighbourhoods.


With a myriad of independent coffee shops in Hackney, it was vital that Laura’s should be distinctive. Fortunately, her exuberant personality proved to be the key. Hand gestures are a fundamental part of Italian conversation, with Sicilians being perhaps the most expressive.

For Laura, hands are integral to everything she does, not only speaking beautifully and loudly with them, but using them to bake the sweetest delights. Truly “Dolce Handmade”.


Italians use approximately 250 hand gestures every day, according to the New York Times. Gestures in such complexity, make it a unique language, comparable to sign language for the deaf.

The agency commissioned Italian illustrator Gabriele Grassi to capture, in a series of unique illustrations. The result is a vibrant identity with a wide range hand gestures. The hand-drawn, monochrome, illustrative style is inspired by traditional etchings and encyclopaedias.


Opened in June 2018, the shop has already built a strong loyal following, whilst increasingly receiving more spontaneous passing trade. The branding has been implemented across a wide array of items including website; signage; badges; loyalty cards; bills; staff aprons; cups and wrapping as well as in-store.

The branding comprises dozens of illustrated hand signals, such as a raised hand with a raised forefinger (denoting ‘Just a second I need a coffee’); a closed hand with a raised pinkie (‘A latte skinnier than this’); and two hands rubbing together (‘Get excited, cake inside’).