The project presented in our course was to choose any business to rebrand. I had visited Little Tokyo, Los Angeles the summer before the project was presented and was inspired by the charm and life present. Though special, Little Tokyo has a difficult time standing apart from Chinatown which leads to less unity within the community and significantly business in comparison. Little Tokyo is rich with history as the structured community has been around for 130 years and is only 1 of 3 Japantowns left in the US. I wanted to create an identity that would stand out and represent the history and uniqueness of the people and their community.
My brand identity is based around traditional Japanese woodblock prints. I was very inspired by different elements of the artwork such as their use of gradients, panelled segments and simplistic typography. I wanted the imagery to bring realism and tangibility to the brand in contrast to the perfection of Tokyo, Japan. The pictures include people eating, walking the streets and enjoying one another’s company. With the logo I was drawn to Japanese writing “tategaki” creating a pictorial logo and typographic logo at once. Red stamps were also a source of inspiration for my logo as I saw them beautifully paired with Japanese typography on packages and letters. For my colors I wanted something to attract the eye even though my textures were gradients which is why I used primary colors like red, blue and yellow that stand out from everyday life and help advertise for businesses, festivals and events.
My goal was to create a tangible brand that feels exciting and new, enticing to a point where this identity makes you want to visit and learn more. I felt that the brand really encapsulated the vision I had. Present with history but fresh with life and bright elements.