The main research created the foundation of my brand for BoxPark Sushi. The demographic of East Side Milwaukee and the types of sushi restaurants that currently exist there showed how uncommon sushi is in this location. Also, with the demographics including predominantly white and African American, it can also be understood that the lack of an Asian culture is also present. This is why the approach of BoxPark Sushi is to appeal to the adventurous eater and inviting for those who may be skeptical to try sushi. For example, BoxPark Sushi has training chopsticks for those who want to try to use chopsticks to eat and also provides vegetable rolls which is a healthy and delicious precursor to trying raw fish filled sushi.
One design problem I had was with the take out box design. There are many ways to have a take-out box for food. Many Asian cuisines use the ‘Chinese’ take out box style because it is associated with Asian culture. But again, I wanted to stick away from the norm on this idea. My personal favorite Japanese restauarant does not have any branding on their take out box, but it is a clear plastic box in which you can see your food. I also noticed that the grocery story that sells fresh sushi daily has these trays of sushi that have a clear plastic cover and a sleeve over the top. I thought this would be a great place for branding to mesh with the rest of the design. From the first prototype to the final, it is clear that one is more appealing than the other.
When conducting research on many types of logos for a sushi restaurant, it was obvious that most of them included a piece of sushi, whether it be a sushi roll, or piece of nigiri. A simple google or yelp search will yield such results. Also, the most dominant color combo is black and red, red for the sun on the Japanese flag. There is a high use of the chopsticks as a framing device for many of the logos as well. Chopsticks are known for their use in sushi, but for me I wanted to stay away from chopsticks as more than just the Japanese use chopsticks to eat food. I feel as though chopsticks could mean more than just Japanese cuisine.
Knowing this, I wanted to create something that had a few noticeably Japanese elements such as the use of the color red in my logo. Luckily, the red also connects as the color of raw tuna and arguably, the color of wild caught raw salmon. I went back and forth on the color of the rest of the logo. My instincts told me to stick with just a black base and I went back to my research on sushi restaurant logos and red and black was the typical pairing. I wanted something different to be adventurous and convey the idea behind BoxPark Sushi and thinking outside the box (pun intended). So a dark navy blue seemed to be more fitting, to connect with the sea and freshness of sushi as well as give a dark contrasting color to the red.
Finding the appropriate font was one of the bigger struggles during the creation of this logo. A bold and san serif font was my first instinct to keep it readable at a distance and so it will scale down nicely. Serif fonts didn’t necessarily scream Japanese to me, probably because most of the sushi logos I saw rarely had a serif font. Also, looking at Japanese calligraphic fonts helped narrow down this search and I came to find the Motoya font that makes of the “BoxPark” in the logo. This san serif font came about in the 18th century in Japan and is known as Gothic script from the research I’ve done (Hayataki, 2018). The “Sushi” text is known as Shojumaru which draws inspiration from a 1957 film called Sayonara.
Hayataki, M. (2018, November 28). The Most Comprehensive Guide to Web Typography in Japanese. Retrieved from https://hayataki-masaharu.jp/web-typography-in-japanese/#.XXMXqpNKjxs
From starting this journey nine weeks ago, there have been a lot of changes to the brand for my version of BoxPark Sushi. Starting off with tone and voice, I had so many ideas for this part and ended up with 3 of the 9 I came up with (Adventurous, Authentic and Healthy). The biggest change was from the color theory from the vision board to the final brand guidelines. I thought the bright and colorful oranges, greens and reds would work well because they play off traditional sashimi colors. But one main concept I’ve learned is that we’re selling the sizzle, not the sushi, in that we need to sell the brand and set it apart from other restaurants. The media matrix created the idea of what types of media are more effective than others. This caused me to think more critically about advertising and what forms of advertising BoxPark Sushi should be using. Creating the sketches for the logo was a long process. It is difficult for me to sketch a logo as there are so many versions of sushi logos. From looking at existing logos, I picked elements from them to keep and others to stay away from which resulted in the final logo for the brand. It has a twofold meaning of sushi and boxcars to tie into why BoxPark Sushi is adventurous and authentic. At week six, we started to identify the types of media assets that would be beneficial to the brand. Understanding how to put the mock-ups on templates was a great experience because I had to play with lighting and certain elements to adhere to the texture of a pole banner for example. From the finalized brand assets, we can see there is a large shift in the brand. There is an added texture with the waves and it was interesting to create the overall feeling the the brand.