Akashi Sake Brewery is an artisanal sake producer based in Hyogo, Japan. Their flagship product, Akashi-Tai, is a premium range of five artisan sakes, brewed in small batches using traditional methods.
The brewery needed a new design for Akashi-Tai, to position the brand as an authentic, premium player on the global stage.
We worked strategically with the brewery’s brand team to help define the proposition, brand essence and brand story.
The design challenge was to create one new identity for two diverse markets with different cultures, codes and customers. We needed to ensure the brand remained credible in Japan, whilst engaging new audiences in emerging Western markets.
By fully understanding sake, the significance and importance of Japanese symbolism and iconography, and gaining an understanding of Japanese codes and nuances, we were able to conquer the challenge.
The Tai (sea bream) is at the heart of the brand identity, which embodies the attributes the brewery aspires to: strength, resilience and curiosity.
We worked closely with artist Aurore de La Morinerie to create the beautiful Tai illustration, and with Hirano Sogen to create the kanji identity, which work together to create a beautifully balanced identity for the brand.
To celebrate the birth of the new brand we held a traditional kagami biraki ceremony, in which a barrel of the new sake is smashed open for the first time and shared as part of the celebration.