The Brand Identity

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Every day, our inbox overflows with interesting and inspiring projects from all over the world. To make sure more of them receive the attention they deserve, we have THE INBOX, a collection of five of the best projects, every week. If you are interested in sending us your work, download our submission guidelines from our Information page.

Located in the heart of Manhattan just a few blocks from Madison Square Park, fast-casual restaurant Milu (pronounced mee-loo) serves up a menu packed with modern takes on traditional, regional Chinese flavours. Tasked with branding the restaurant upon its launch, local creative agency Saint Urbain developed a visual identity that balances authenticity with wholesome contemporary elegance.

At the beginning of the process, they immediately took a liking to the double meaning of Milu (米路), which literally means ‘rice road’ while sounding similar to the Chinese words for ‘getting lost’ (迷路). As a result, the identity embraces traditional Chinese illustration to create a multi-faceted world for customers to become immersed within. Inspired by historic Hong Kong-style cafés and their cultural significance in serving affordable Canto-Western cuisine, the visual language is equally warm and whimsical as it is stylishly refined.

Established initially in the early parts of 2020 as an experimental creative outlet for its founders, Taichung-based visual design studio aether³ has since expanded to offer branding, art direction, digital and typographic services commercially. Aiming to match their multi-disciplinary nature, their visual identity adopts a multi-faceted combination of typefaces alongside an unusual, otherworldly selection of symbols. Despite what they represent not being revealed, the symbols add a layer of character, quirk and outright peculiarness to the otherwise minimalistic approach.

Award-winning Australian MasterChef Shaun Presland cultivated his culinary skills under the tutorage of the world’s most esteemed Japanese chefs for more than two decades. With his first restaurant, the London-based Pacific, he’s offering an all-day selection of Japanese cuisines such as market-fresh sashimi, grilled fish and Pacific-region wine; all with a distinctly Australian attitude. Aiming to reflect that unique mixture, Madrid-based British designer Lizzie Frost created a rather cute and characterful pufferfish illustration to sit at the heart of the restaurant’s identity system.

Joana Forjaz is a lighting design studio in Lisbon that “gives life to spaces without identity through the contrast between light and shadow, and its variations of colour, intensity and propagation.” To reflect this in their visual identity, locally-based Love Street Studio developed a ‘game of diagonals’, using holographic foiling to emphasise contrast and mirror the variety of colour within Joana Forjaz’s work. In addition, the custom-drawn logotype follows the technique used to create real neon signage, incorporating interruptions within each letterform as it would have if made from glass. Its rounded, generously-spaced uppercase forms balance out pleasantly with the sharpness of the diagonal, resulting in an identity system that’s both elegant and approachable.

New York-based creative studio Decade worked with sustainable luggage brand Paravel to create their debut advertising campaign. “Travel is more than a few trips a year to faraway places – looking at the world through the eyes of a traveller means finding adventure everywhere, every day,” Decade explain within their case study. In order to tell this story, the campaign features several local spots that are made to feel like exotic destinations through cinematic imagery and vintage travel postcard-inspired graphic treatments. Appearing throughout NYC on subway ads as well as a full station takeover of Broadway/Lafayette, the campaign successfully acts as a tongue-in-cheek reminder that ‘everywhere’s a trip’.

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