Last week the design community welcomed its latest rebrand ready for the critical eye of creatives the world over, and taking the sushi roll of the dice this time are our friends at YO! Sushi who will now be forever known as YO! (sssu wait don’t say sushi anymore). With a bold new Tokyo inspired identity, will the move maki the cut of the market they’re hoping for?
The new identity, designed by Paul Belford LTD, is an interesting move for YO! after only refreshing their designs with &Smith in April. It’s a clear move into deeper ‘Tokyo’ territory, attempting to not only establish a more authentic position but also to move away from the ‘sushi’ name limitations.
Despite design movement at the start of this year, this is the first dramatic change for the brand since it launched 1997. It now boasts a more urban feeling, appearing contemporary with a stripped back yet expressive style, and simpler typeface. The new logo creates a sense of heritage for the brand, which was founded by a British businessman looking to bring the Japanese ‘kaiten’ conveyor belt-style eating to the UK. The new graphic system reflects life in Tokyo with illustrations such as the Japanese knot shape used to represent a road system. It’s a bold approach to creating a sense of culture, whilst the car illustrations add a modern feel to it. Iconography has been altered from multi coloured illustrations to flat graphics set against plain backgrounds.
As well as a more stripped back look with the typeface, a more uniform avenue has been assigned to the colour system. What was originally overpowering, a more subtle palette has taken favour. The original signature orange is still used but in a less bright version and the pink is no longer used. This emphasises the move away from the ‘anime’ look to a slightly gentler mark which still represents the Tokyo frenetic lifestyle in a more elegant and high-class way.
The previous strap line was ‘Welcome to Tokyo’ but this concept is now shown through the visual aspects of the brand and is replaced with ‘Live Fast. Eat Well.’. The change of story is a strong move towards emphasising healthy eating as well as intensifying the upmarket feel, and is supported through the introduction of beautiful food photography. Wrapping up the rebrand is a nicely crafted brand book in a wooden Japanese box, extending the idea of tradition whilst being aesthetically pleasing, and with touches like this we must admit it’s a nice achievement for YO!
With all their ducks in a roe, time will tell how successful the rebrand has been, and we look forward to seeing what happens next.
(Images credit: YO!)