Friday, December 10, 2010


The objective of my Graphic Design course was to re-brand a Yonge Street Store between Wellesley St. and Bloor St., a stretch of Toronto with generically named businesses and atrocious storefronts. I chose Tokyo Grill as my client to re-brand. (Above: New storefront with signage)

Tokyo Grill is a Japanese restaurant that serves up authentic home-style cuisine. Specialties of the house include home made soba noodles available every last Saturday of the month. Also on order are a variety of grilled fish, teriyaki, ramen, curry, don, and katsu dishes; along with a selection of Japanese beer and sake. The dining style is intimate and friendly. Wedged within a small pink building with a hybrid program, the restaurant occupies a minimal storefront in true Tokyo-style. With 32 seats, Tokyo Grill is a favourite retreat frequented by loyal customers for its relaxed atmosphere.

The re-branding was simply an exercise in consolidating the existing brand. The new Tokyo Grill signage capitalizes on its roots by favouring the Japanese font. The exclamation mark is a minimal way to draw attention but also as a reference to exaggerated expressions from Japanese Pop Culture but also relates to retro monster movie dialogue, such as Godzilla and King Kong. A new graphic motif was created for Tokyo Grill drawing inspirations from their own house made soba noodles but also relates to grill smoke, grill marks, and the Great Wave off Kanagawa. The block-iness of the Japanese font allows for multiple ways of locking text together, creating a working pattern that can be used for various touch points as well as decoration (say, wallpaper or place mats) - this was a lot of fun for me ;)

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