Contributed by Aimee Emerson of London-based & SMITH.
We teamed up with YO! Sushi to refine their brand strategy and refresh their look and feel.
YO! Sushi is a place where people can experience a true taste of modern Tokyo. The brand idea and menu launch campaign centred around ‘This is Tokyo’ as a concept. So this meant…
- We hero-ed the authenticity of the dishes on the menu. All YO’s food is inspired by Japanese classics, street food or home dishes.
- The design should take cues from anime / manga culture (but translated in a modern way).
- We didn’t have to dumb anything down. We introduced Kanji script to the menu and made sure all sections were named as they would be in Tokyo. The launch campaign leads with Japanese dish names so everyone can learn the difference between Takoyaki (octopus filled dough balls) and Okonomiyaki (street food pancakes).
- YO! are the ears to the ground for what’s going on in Tokyo right now.
As soon as our director Dan Bernstein interviewed Mike Lewis (the executive chef) on day one, he knew our idea had to be centred around authenticity. Mike told Dan his tales of searching the streets, homes and restaurants of Tokyo hunting down the best recipes and ingredients to bring back to the UK. From then on it was obvious this was something we had to shout about.
We wanted to give everyone a taste of what’s going on in Tokyo right now. That’s where the zine/newspaper menu idea came from. It gave us the chance to show some nice snippets of art, fashion and music alongside their food. The idea is that the editorial content will change four or five times a year.
- The new design was rolled out across all 70+ sites in the UK over the last two weeks and is about to launch on all sites in the US later in the month.
- All illustrations were created in-house.
- As well as new menus, we created the launch campaign, A-boards, menu boards, interior graphics, and window wraps as a part of the refresh. There’s more to come over the next few months.