What happens when two branding experts join forces to start a sushi restaurant? Maki-san, that’s what. This one-location, create-your-own sushi place in Singapore looked too well conceived to be a humble local startup. A little online snooping unearthed the fact that Maki-san was started by art director Joseph Koh and copywriter Omar Marks, whose roots trace back to McCann Erickson Singapore. That explained why the brand concept seemed to cover all the essentials — graphic tone of voice, color palette, market positioning, typography, logo, target audience, etc. — indicating that professionals were involved.
Done with creative director Pann Lim, the graphic identity was built around repeating patterns formed from hand-drawn illustrations of shrimp, avocado, cucumbers, mushrooms and other ingredients, which were used like wrapping paper for the take-out sushi boxes and salads. Complementing this design is a circular logo that mimics the shape of a rolled (maki) sushi, and spells out the restaurant’s name in a hand-written logotype that resembles an emoticon and shows how to phonetically pronounce Maki-san. The eye-popping colors of the logo medallion are echoed inside each long take-out sushi box. The vibrant colors and circles and rectangular shapes set the theme for the restaurant décor, with manga-style posters creating a hip pop culture mood.