When an upscale DUMBO cocktail bar asked karlssonwilker to create its name and identity, we felt strongly that the bar’s branding should feel authentically rooted in its neighborhood. The name Gair was chosen because of its modern simplicity and backstory that represents the area’s past.

In the late 19th century, DUMBO was known as “Gairville,” as most of the neighborhood’s factory and warehouse buildings were owned by Robert Gair, an entrepreneur, real estate magnate and, most notably, inventor of the corrugated cardboard.

Iconic photo with the Manhattan Bridge framing the Empire State Building in the distance—Gair is directly to the right of this location



When designing Gair’s identity, Karlssonwilker took cues from the bar’s interior design concept of juxtaposing light and weighty volumes. The result is a shape-shifting logo that plays with contrasting shapes and elements. When printed flat on menus and merch, the logo has a lithesome elegance, resembling a sketch of a mobile sculpture.



Attached to each receipt will be an intricately folded paperclip in the shape of the logo.




On the building’s exterior, however, the letters protrude from the wall and take on a chunkier three-dimensional appearance. The concept evolves even further in a hanging sign for the building’s side exterior (this has yet to be realized). In a nod to urban mythmaking and street culture, the logo’s letters have been reduced to their basic shapes, which are slung over a pole like sneakers over a telephone wire.