The Colour Club brands DOPA, a Japanese donburi and milkbar located in Sydney's Darling Square
DOPA is a Japanese-inspired donburi and milkbar in Sydney’s Darling Square from the team behind cult international chain Devon Café. The menu is a scintillating 50/50 split between dessert and savoury options, born from the minds of executive chef Zacharay Tan and pastry-extraordinaire Marcus Andrew. It features something for everyone, from Japanese staples such as miso soup and wagyu beef to show-stopping strawberry sundaes and matcha profiteroles.
Local creative studio The Colour Club was approached by the Devon Café leadership team to design DOPA’s visual identity and resulting merchandise, signage, packaging and menu system. The objective was to create something fresh, unexpected and distinctly Japanese without entering into pastiche. On top of that, Creative Director Nick Mitchell adds that they “needed to develop a practical and recognisable identity system that could be easily extended across locations”.
With that in mind, the studio took direction from the name DOPA itself, which is a shortened form of dopamine, a chemical messenger in the brain that motivates us to repeat pleasurable and rewarding behaviours. They worked closely with artist Andrew Yee to create a stylish set of manga-inspired illustrations, based on the transformative experience of eating good food. The concept is enhanced by the idiom 起死回生 (kishi kaisei), meaning ‘wake from death, return to life’, which forms part of the logo lockup on stickers, t-shirts and more. Colours are derived directly from DOPA’s interior design, creating a cohesive and welcoming experience for visitors to the widely popular Sydney dessert spot.