Tonkotsu have grown into one of the rising stars of London’s fast-casual restaurant scene. And, like many new businesses, their brand and organisation evolved piecemeal as they did so. They wanted a reset to their brand, as well as a bolder approach that would work hard in new locations across the UK.
Tonkotsu are so devoted to the discipline of ramen that they shipped mid-century noodle machines from Japan to their first restaurants in East London. We knew we needed to reflect this same ambition in our work, so sought micro-commissions from a range of creatives with one foot in Japan and one in Britain, before working closely with Tomomi Maezawa, a Japanese graphic designer based in Liverpool.
Together we cooked up a distinctive series of marks that riffed on the Japanese kanji for 'kotsu' ('bone'), a word that combines ideas of spirit and humanity as well as those delicious pork bones. The resulting mark is a nod to those in the know, as well as a versatile icon that thrives in signage, digital and print contexts.
The new work is now forming the basis of two new stores in Battersea and a striking interior in Stratford.