OMSE’s identity for Indo-Japanese spirit DOJA is a joyful mixture of ingredients and cultures
DOJA is the world’s first Indo-Japanese spirit; a mixture of ingredients and cultures that come together to create something new. Crafted by a veteran distiller in Japan’s Wakayama prefecture and produced in Goa-based East Side Distillery, DOJA is a yuzu-dominant gin with hints of cedar, sansho pepper and hinoki in combination with traditional botanicals from India.
Building on the brand’s concept of mixing, London-based studio OMSE delivered an identity for DOJA that honours the two cultures whilst embracing tradition and modernity. This also inspired the name, In(do-ja)panese as well as the distinctive logo; a mixture of typefaces and languages: Japanese, English and Devanagari.
The resulting design system is a dazzling blend of type, photography and illustration, which can be assembled in a variety of striking layouts. Alongside its gradients, nostalgia, and hint of playfulness, the identity includes a series of illustrations featuring the DOJA botanicals and icons of Japanese and Indian culture.
OMSE expanded further on the concept through their considered selection of serif and sans serif typefaces. “Typography plays a big part in the identity so we really wanted to communicate the idea of mixing cultures together through type,” Designer Ed Hatfield tells us. The use of contrasting styles helps bring this to life, “so using GT Flexa X Compressed as the core English display font made sense, allowing secondary fonts to be mixed within.” Blaze Type’s Apoc is used as the supporting serif, providing contrast and pairing elegantly with the other typefaces.
Describing the process for selecting the typefaces for Japanese and Devanagari, Hatfield explains that “the key was leading with English, a mutual language,” before finding the Japanese and Devanagari fonts that supported them, “sharing similar character forms and weights so that they feel part of the same family.” Togalite is used for the Japanese type and Indian Type Foundry’s Pancho is used for the Devanagari type. “We came across the Japanese typeface Togalite that contrasted well against Flexa with its flared serifs, leading us to add serifs to the Devanagari font to tie them together.”
Despite the vibrant, expressive advertising and supporting materials, OMSE decided to take a more elegant approach for the bottle and box. “The product needed to stand out but also retain a high-end and premium aesthetic,” Hatfield explains. As a custom bottle design was not an option for a startup, OMSE explored how special printing techniques could distinguish and elevate the label and cap. “We felt the use of holographic foil helped strike the right balance, delivering the vibrance of the identity in an elegant way.”