Studio Round

We are Round —
a design practice that
harnesses culture and
creativity to transform brands.
Find out more.

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We are Round —
a design practice that
harnesses culture and
creativity to transform brands.
Find out more.

Ricky & Pinky —

Introducing new characters to a local institution.

Sector —

Hospitality

We helped create —

Identity, print, environmental

We worked with —

Tin & EdSibling Architecture

The Builder’s Arms hotel is one of Melbourne’s stalwart venues. Despite decades of reinvention, it’s remained as reliable as ever; a corner pub ingrained into the culture of the city. So for its most recent incarnation, owner Andrew McConnell knew that the change would need to be bold, yet accessible enough to honour the venue’s important place in the neighbourhood.

In the tradition of so many Aussie country pubs of the 1960s and 70s, the idea for Ricky & Pinky – a gilt-lined Chinese restaurant housed in an archetypal corner boozer – was born. In close collaboration with our friends Sibling Architecture and Tin&Ed, we set about bringing this cultural collision to life, with lazy suzans, fish tanks, and giant fortune cookies all getting a look-in.

These dramatic changes were inherently risky; the venue had to bridge these two cultures and link past and present without alienating its audience. Ricky & Pinky needed a voice and a relatable, human personality.

Enter Ricky and Pinky: two lucky pigs who just love to eat and drink.

Modelled on the ubiquitous Chinese lucky cats, the mischievous pair were created to personify the eccentric spirit of McConnell’s unique Hong Kong-meets-Fitzroy concept. Always helpful and often irreverent, they would play the part of the obliging and knowledgeable guide – walking guests through the menu and offering tips on favourite dishes to try.

This energetic and inimitable personality has given the Builder’s Arms a new lease on life; proof that the best outcomes are always the result of vision and collaboration.

Above —

Interior designed by Sibling Architecture

Above —

Lightbox installation by Tin & Ed