Founded by Kelly Choi, Sushi Daily makes handmade sushi at counters in more than 700 supermarkets including Waitrose in the UK and Carrefour in France. London-based brand design studio Without initially won a pitch to develop the identity for Sushi Daily’s first dedicated “grab & go” store on London’s New Oxford Street, but the work developed into a logo and website to be rolled out across the business.
Without’s research and workshops with the client revealed that, while customer satisfaction was high, brand recall was low. Unlike high-street sushi chains, the fish is cut down whole, on-site, everyday, to maximise freshness and reduce waste, and their secret-recipe rice is cooked fresh on-site daily. But despite operating in a different league of quality, Sushi Daily looked like a supermarket own-label brand showing western clichés of Japan.
Without based their work on a series of meetings with founder Kelly Choi and the story of her promise to sushi master Yamamoto-San to make the best sushi available to everyone. The brand history was pieced together into a charming animated story (below).
At the centre of the new identity is a family of illustrated characters led by a female chef (with fish-tail hair) and a strong Japanese indigo blue.
The contemporary Japanese illustrations help the brand to educate without formality, while the indigo lets the vivid sushi colours stand out and feels more distinctive than ubiquitous black sushi trays.
Kinarie, by Grand Deluxe, and Houseology, by Graphical House
Punch House, by Dan Blackman
Blackhorse Lane Ateliers, by Studio Small, Groep Van de Kerckhove, by Chilli, and Elvine, by Lundgren+Lindqvist
Burack and Company, by Essex Two, and Hotel Shipka, by Stefan Kanchev
Ribbon, by Brandclay, and Brooklyn High Rise, by Yossi Belkin
Counterculture from the late 1950s was identified by the peace symbol. The rave generation of the 80s had the smiley logo. Now we see the movement against climate breakdown being represented by the extinction symbol, brought to prominence by the recent actions of Extinction Rebellion (XR).
What makes it a successful logo is its simplicity and ease of reproduction. Just like the CND symbol and smiley face, it’s easy to replicate, whether as a sketch, a painting, some embroidery, etc., and as a result it’s easy to remember.
Climate protests in Wellington, NZ, via @ExtinctionNZ
The circle represents earth, while the stylised hourglass signifies that time’s running out. Despite Extinction Rebellion protests in 2018/19 raising awareness of the design, its origins predate the XR movement. In a recent interview for Eco Hustler, the symbol’s designer, an east London artist known as “ESP,” spoke of prior involvement with the UK anti-roads movement and a background in sculpture and printmaking. “I was making protest art about the declines of various individual species for a while,” he said. “But it felt quite inconsequential in relation to the scale of the problem. I gradually realised that the issue was so big that […] it needed something simple that anybody could easily replicate. At the start of 2011 I was just randomly sketching designs and as soon as I drew the symbol I knew what it was.”
Extinction symbol outside Downing Street, via ecohustler.com
ESP emailed around 20 environmental groups, offering the use of the symbol. Only one replied to say they’d use it if it ever got popular, but they wouldn’t circulate it beforehand. That’s when ESP realised he had to put it out there himself, pasting posters and tiles of the symbol on walls around east London.
“I started off by chalking it really large on a wall down Brick Lane and some guys standing across the street were joking around, asking me if I thought I was Banksy or something. I just ignored them and carried on. Then they became curious about the meaning and one said, ‘X marks the spot,’ then his friend said, ‘No, time’s running out.’ I turned around and was like ‘Yes!’ I walked over and gave them a flyer about the extinction crisis that I’d printed off for such occasions. That incident gave me confidence that people could instantly get the meaning of it, even though the design was somewhat stylised for ease of application.”
Extinction symbol in George Square, Glasgow, via @extinctsymbol
ESP’s website makes the extinction symbol freely available to those who wish to use it, but makes it clear that it has always been an anti-consumerist project. “No extinction-symbol merchandise exists, and it never will do.” Extinction Rebellion contacted ESP in 2018 about incorporating the design into their movement.
All this is obviously about more than a logo. According to Sir David Attenborough, “the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.” His recent BBC documentary on climate change is available on iPlayer, and at the time of writing on YouTube, too (below). Everyone must see this.
The book was first published as a hardcover by McGraw Hill Higher in 1972, the year of author Henry Dreyfuss’ death. Henry was an acclaimed industrial designer and native of Brooklyn, New York. His firm designed a broad range of products including vacuum cleaners, telephones, fountain pens, alarm clocks, a locomotive, tractors, a wall-mounted thermostat, cameras, and other items, many becoming ubiquitous in 20th century America.
Susan Kare used the Symbol Sourcebook for inspiration when she designed the original Macintosh icons. She said in an interview, “One of my favourite parts of the book is its list of hobo signals, that hobos used to contact each other when they were on the road.”
Over a number of years Henry and his staff assembled a database of more than 20,000 symbols. The collection served as raw material for the 1,000 or so graphic marks categorised in the Symbol Sourcebook. Here’s a good bit from the introduction.
Adweek asked design historian Russell Flinchum, author of the Henry Dreyfuss biography, for a comment about the book. “The origins began with a desire to label John Deere and National Supply Co. (oil drilling equipment) with standard international labels that wouldn’t have to be changed from country to country, thus saving much time and effort.” Gathering the symbols was mostly a joint project for Henry and his wife, Doris, who worked closely with Paul Clifton, the main designer on the job. “It began with a mass mailing of every organisation involved with symbols they could think of, then collating this information and boiling it down to standard appearances.”
“If a system of symbols could be compiled that would be equally recognisable in Lagos and Lapland, perhaps the dream of a universal basic means of communication could be realised. I believe this is possible.”
— Henry Dreyfuss
Second-hand hardcovers (1972) and new paperbacks (1984) can be picked up on Amazon (.com, .co.uk, .ca).
The challenge for Base Design was how to turn corporate elevator company, Mitsulift, into a relevant, contemporary brand. While the logo does a great job of capturing the idea, the real strength is in the broader identity.
Originally built for freight trains in the 1930s, The High Line is an elevated rail structure on Manhattan’s West Side that has been turned into the city’s most popular new park. An ideal monogram by Paula Scher, Pentagram.
New Chapter is a startup offering word therapy — a form of counselling where participants express themselves through the written word. The symbol, by Paul Belford Ltd, combines a book with a forward-pointing arrow.
Inspired by the “Overview Effect” — a sensation that astronauts experience when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole — Daily Overview offers a new way to look at the landscape humans have shaped. The D overlooking the O creates a very apt monogram from the now seemingly defunct Brooklyn-based Fleet.
Freedom Travel had always had a gull on their logo and they wanted a gull on the new one. The Chase obliged them.
Paws is a personalised dog food delivery service in the UK, with a charming logo designed by Koto.
The Bandido coffee brand “channels the Californian counterculture spirit by bucking the system of larger coffee chains and corporates.” The playful mark designed by Magpie is fitting and memorable.
Leading designers from around the world submitted their strongest work for display in a variety of venues, and a number of designers gave talks about their work and the future of logo and identity design.
While there’s not much detail of the event online, the Logo World book was published soon after as a form of historical record of what took place.
The first Euro-Logo-Design Award was held in the presence of members of the European Commission, members of the Belgian and Flemish Governments, the mayor of Ostend, the Governor of the province of West-Flanders, representatives from international design organisations, members of the press, and others. The award was presented to designers who were considered pioneers in the field of graphic design, particularly logo design and corporate identity. The ten winners in 1994 were Anton Stankowski, Franco Grignani, Jacques N. Garamond, Josef Muller-Brockman, Paul Rand, Yusaku Kamekura, Stephan Kantscheff, Hermann Zapf, Jan Rajlich sr, and Saul Bass.
“The trademark’s function of clearly indicating the purpose of the enterprise is an important aid in sales. At the same time, it is highly desirable that the mark should also tell something about the size and nature of the enterprise for which it stands. […] A trademark exists to stamp itself indelibly upon the consciousness of the general public. This is the purpose of the corporate image.”
— Yusaku Kamekura
As Paul Ibou was also the founder and president of the International Trademark Center (ITC), he was able to collect an enormous amount of logo submissions from renowned names in the profession. This helped with a range of logo design books Paul went on to publish (Famous Animal Logos 1 & 2, Banking Symbols 1 & 2, Art Symbols, and others).
One of the festival exhibitions was that of Letters as Symbols, pictured above. It was based on one of Paul’s earlier book ideas from 1991.
“When talking about logos, they should neither be linked nor limited to a specific culture, but should be understood by people of different cultural backgrounds, worldwide. A logo should be independent of most standards and be accessible to anyone, irrespective of education or level of intelligence. In fact, a logo that is created for a company or organisation is intended to ease visual perception. The simpler the form of the logo, the more effectively it catches the human eye.”
“The difference between digital space and material artefact manifests itself in a number of ways. With the digital landscape being infinite, curation is open to anything with a compelling use of form language between 1950 and 1980. With the finite space of print it takes a more personal approach, so anything that really speaks to me on a personal level, something that has a joy in its metaphor or a sophistication in its abstraction. This first edition draws together some of my favourite animal logos.
“A critical relationship between LogoArchive online and LogoArchive in print is formed by maintaining a white on black distinction, where logo books are typically black on white. This also provided the potential to acknowledge LogoArchive’s new physical context through the uncoated and dyed qualities of Colorplan Ebony, the physical layering of white ink, and binding with black staples.
“It was a challenge to print white on black while avoiding the expense of foil and screen printing. WithPrint did a fantastic digital print job, maintaining sharp edges and making the white on black as white as possible.
“As it’s a small booklet (10pp plus cover), details such as consistent layering of ink through eight passes, carefully trimming the dyed, uncoated paper, and the use of black staples were essential. They help to justify its price point, which, at five pounds, aims to be just a little more than an expensive birthday card, and hopefully sets LogoArchive up for a second edition. I ran 400 and have 100 left. There may be another run later but I want to get on with the next edition.
“Getting the ISBN number was a first for me. I’ve generated barcodes for clients in the past, but never registered as a publisher and requested a number. It’s a fairly straightforward process through Nielsen BookServices, costing £89 for one, or £149 for 10. A barcode was generated using a few online tools and knocked out of a block of white. There is a requirement to submit any publication with an ISBN number to five institutions, one of which is the British library.
“A critical part of LogoArchive in print is its story — its capacity to take something pragmatic, like research and documentation, and give it a personal component. There are a lot of logo books out there, so this mix of story, new mode of delivery, and distinct materiality intends to separate LogoArchive and lay the foundation for an ongoing relationship with readers.”