Laura Soave, an Italian graphic designer currently living in Belgium, decided to give a new look to Kikkoman, a Japanese worldwide known brand of Asian seasoning products, mostly known for its soy sauce and packaging. And although some years ago the brand renewed its image, everything can always be improved, and that’s what Laura did by transforming the traditional brand identity into something more natural and minimalist.
She renewed the old and representative elements of the brand such as the hexagon and Kamon, and added some new graphic elements as the ‘Kanji’ (Japanese language characters), and the result is simple and beautiful. I really liked how she summarized the entire Japanese background of the brand’s history by using the Kanji, and I also think the new typography and the incorporation of the hexagon in the wordmark was very clever because it gives the brand a more refined style. (For some reason I think about Japan as a sweet and feminine city, maybe is for the cherry blossom)
Although I really liked the logo my favorite part of this work is the packaging design! Laura made a great decision maintaining the shape of the famous soy sauce bottle since the brand is known for that design created the Japanese designer Kenji Ekuan. She also made three variations of the classic bottles with different colors, a bottle for the “Mirin Seasoning Rice Wine”, a box for the “Tempura Bread Crumbs” and a special anniversary edition. (She had a lot of free time I guess)
This packaging is a great example of how simplicity works, she just kept the basics like the name and kind of sauce and assigned a color for each type, nothing more was needed. And, what about the white color? it is so nice! The bottles had a complete change with the mere fact of making them white, it looks much more peaceful and natural, and also reminds me of the Japanese porcelain. Perhaps the only design that breaks with the system is the box, maybe it would look more consistently with a color strip with the Kenji as the other packagings. And just to finish the packaging review, the special edition box is really cool, it looks traditional but actual. Nice, nice, nice.
And if you think that was all, you are wrong! She decided to create the stationery, an app to find Kikkoman, and a website that I personally don’t like; I think the traditional style of the illustrations is very different of what we see in the other applications, but it is certainly better than the actual. I think Kikkoman should take a look at this work and give it a chance, it would be a great change for the brand.
But well.. at least this is my f opinion.