Kids Cafe Piccolo by Podium



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

Kids Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_top_mg_3918.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_2815.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG__mg_3837.jpg

Here is some more text from VONSUNG:


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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG__mg_3816.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG__mg_4026.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_3159.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_4082.jpg

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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_2966.jpg

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

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_3227.jpg


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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG__mg_2888.jpg

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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG__mg_3009.jpg

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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_4207.jpg

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.”

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_9100.jpg

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.

Cafe Piccolo by VONSUNG_mg_9039.jpg

Posted on Wednesday August 26th 2009 at 5:37 pm by Ali Morris. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • R. Berengena

    It’s so tasteful. I’m trying to imagine how American children would respond to this clean environment. They’re so used to Chucky Cheese and MacDonald’s with all those tacky colors and an overwhelming sense of plastic. The Kids Cafe Piccolo would likely make them feel “cheeted.”

    • Guz

      That’s a terrible assumption.

  • Oh, I would not go so far. This pretty and quietly cheerful space can be appreciated by anyone, but certainly the parents.

  • bright and comfortable place~
    If I have children, I’ll definitely go there!

  • Marie

    There are nice aspects to this design, but also a lot which (in my opinion) is quite unsuitable to the childrens’ market. For example, the step in the doorway between rooms. And the sink which in the photo looks very high for a small child to reach. The cafe area(and the logo) looks for be more for the parents’ tastes than the childrens’. I think more could have been done colour-wise whilst still retaining a clean and polished design. Play areas are quite nice though.

  • Sorry. I agree with Marie & R.,

    Seems more like a hip school with bits thrown in to keep kids busy. A place designed by adults trying to think like children. Not a real kids place. Where’s the colour? The life?



  • Lee

    I think it looks great, but does anyone know why the signs and menus are in English at a Korean Cafe?

  • design fascist

    Looks interesting and I agree that kids don’t necessarily crave garish colours. It’s hard to judge without seeing a floor plan, but it looks as though there are lots of blind spots where the parents would not be able to see what the kids are getting up to. Also, tables with rounded corners would have been a much better choice against this audience. Sadly it falls over on functionality and attention to detail.