BPO


YO! by Paul Belford Ltd, United Kingdom

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Brand identity, illustration and chopstick packaging for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

London-based graphic design studio Paul Belford Ltd. worked with UK restaurant chain YO! Sushi, now Yo!, to rebrand, as it expands into the US, the Middle East and further into Europe. This included an updated logo together with an extensive 200 page brand book, presented in a bespoke Japanese bento box, that covered a variety of new assets. The brand book covers menus, packaging, signage and illustrative noren curtains, as well as a guide to art direction.

New logo for Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

The logo feels far less anime and more urban in its influence. The breaks and monolinear letterforms move towards the neon signage, road networks and infrastructure of Tokyo’s frenetic cityscape, with some of the energy and equity retained from its previous iteration through italic characters and exclamation mark.

So, while perhaps a little less idiosyncratic, logo still leverages association, appears contemporary, honest and healthier in its restraint and expression, and establishes a stronger continuity between Latin characters and Kanji script. There is still personality and familiarity, but this works in conjunction, rather than in competition with, other more interesting assets, and comfortably sits alongside Aktiv Grotesk.

New logo for Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for UK restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand book by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

It is a huge project with plenty of assets, with only a selection picked out and presented here. Head over to Paul Belford Ltd. to see more. These draw on the iconography of Tokyo and the work of Tokyo-based designers, and introduce some playful little ideas and stories that lend identity an authenticity, but with a simplicity in keeping with a Live Fast, Eat Well position.

Illustration by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand identity and noren curtains for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Individually, illustrations are distinctive and interesting, moving from the utility of powerlines and roads to the friendly tone of characters, from the dense to the more spacious, the architectural to the organic, but together form a rich visual expression. They are broad in their reference, yet tied to Japanese culture, and worked together well using solid colour and shared contexts that include menu covers, noren curtains and packaging. More from Paul Belford Ltd. on BP&O.

Design: Paul Belford Ltd. Opinion: Richard Baird. Fonts Used: Aktiv Grotesk.

Brand identity and noren curtains for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Brand identity and noren curtains for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Brand identity and noren curtains for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Illustration by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand identity and print for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Follow BP&O:
Twitter
Feedly
Facebook
Instagram

Illustration by London-based Paul Belford Ltd. for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi

Brand identity and print for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Brand identity, illustration and menu covers for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

Brand identity, illustration and chopstick packaging for restaurant chain Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

What do you think of Paul Belford’s brand identity for Yo! Sushi? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or get the conversation started on Twitter.

New logo for Yo! Sushi designed by London-based Paul Belford Ltd.

If you liked this then you may also like:

Branding – Full of Luck  Branding – Sauvage  Logo - Mary Wong


  • hmm not sure how i feel. strongly dislike the name and the main logo. the illustrations are good, but maybe because they don’t feature the logo. They’re all very different from each other. They all look Japanese, sure, but the disparate styles mean they take on a slightly “i found this on the internet, keyword: japan”. now I know how I feel, not a fan.

  • Ameen Al Saqqaf

    They made a great decision by dropping the ‘Sushi’ from the brand name not only because they obviously serve more than sushi but the word ‘Yo’ is actually used in japanese casual speech making it feel a lot more authentic and not as forced as the previous name was.

    The new logotype is very reminiscent of Tokyo nightlife neon signage and would look absolutely stunning as the exterior of the restaurant. But the highlight for me is definitely the single color illustrations and it reminds of illustrations I’ve seen in japanese informational books.

    Overall, I think this is a very effective rebrand and would increase people’s interest and desire in visiting the restaurant.

  • Simon Palmer

    Love the wit at play here and have to say that the brand book package looks amazing!