From local to global
Akashi Sake Brewery is a small, family-run artisanal producer from Japan’s Akashi City who have defied the fierce currents of time since 1856. With the growing popularity of sake, Akashi Tai set to launch in new markets around the world – and they recognised that their brand needed to evolve in order to hold credibility on a global stage.
Design that resonates across cultures.
Our most thrilling challenge was creating a new brand identity and design that would resonate in two different markets and two cultures – reflecting the premium quality of the sake in the West, while maintaining recognition as ‘the one with the fish’ in Japan.
To help us extract a new brand essence, we worked closely with Akashi Tai’s fourth generation Toji (Sake Master). We immersed ourselves in the culture (and the sake), learning about Japanese design codes and nuances, and discovering the significance of Japanese symbolism and iconography – while simultaneously having to unlearn many of the graphic design rules we employ in the West. Discovering that the fish, the region’s symbolic ‘Tai’, embodies strength, resilience, and curiosity, we aimed to craft a timeless representation of the Tai that would become the brewery’s new iconic brand mark.
A brand ready for the world stage.
We commissioned Aurore de la Morinerie, a French artist who had studied in Japan, to capture the spirit of the Tai in elegant brushstrokes – as well as Hirano Sogen, a renowned Japanese artist and calligrapher, to create the wordmark.
A limited palette on beautiful Japanese paper reflects the artisan nature and the authenticity of the brand, while premium sakes are distinguished by neck labels and frosted glass, while colour coding aids customers in exploring the range. The new, award-winning design does the genuine artisan nature of Akashi Tai justice, positioning the brand as a premium player – locally and globally.
What we did: