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.
Even though I am an unabashed carnivore who enjoys eating meat with most meals, I have no desire to be on a first name basis with my food and prefer not to know their extended family, much less admire their fashion sensibility. Still, this concept for Don Belisario, a rotisserie chicken restaurant in Lima, Peru, is playful, charming and thoughtfully executed. Conceived by Lima-based agency, Infinito, the brand revolves around Don Belisario, the patriarch of a distinguished and well-heeled poultry clan. The chicken family’s framed woodcut-style portraits grace the walls of the eatery, with each of their names shown in the brand’s unique typographic style. Every detail – from the napkins, dinnerware, restroom signs to the menu books — integrates the theme. It’s a fun concept, but I keep imagining ordering my meal by name. “I’ll have Dona Filomena oven-roasted, and my friend will have Pascual hard-boiled.”
Anyone who has ever driven in San Francisco knows how hard it is to find parking, metered or otherwise. San Francisco drivers regularly pray to the “parking gods” and sometimes feel obligated to eat at a certain restaurant — “the food is so-so, but the parking is good” — simply because there’s an open spot nearby. This situation is exacerbated because the hills are so steep that it’s preferable to use a quarter tank of gas looking for parking than having to walk up or down hill. Now the city is trying to guide drivers to open spots by graphically showing them open spaces on their mobile phones. They claim that the parking map is updated every five minutes. Ha! Since when did a parking space stay open for a full five minutes in San Francisco! Many of us are beyond skeptical, but a designer in Kit’s office says that he has tried SFPark and it works.