New brand Ichibuns created by Spinach rolls out in London
This is Ichibuns, a new and exciting Japanese-inspired dining concept, which has just opened its first restaurant on Wardour Street in the heart of London’s Soho. The Spinach team were responsible for creating this unique brand for restaurateur Robin Leigh, bringing to life his vision of an ‘amazing, out of this world’ concept.
Ichibuns is redefining the ‘fast casual food industry’, offering an exciting menu to include a selection of Hokkaido-inspired cuisine, the ultimate in luxury Wagyu beef burger, and a selection of exciting cocktails served in unique containers. The identity we created reflects the eclectic, energetic and cool, yet fun personality of the brand. ‘We just wanted to give the experience a unique mark of authenticity,’ says Spinach branding director Leigh Banks. ‘It is a fantastic name and concept that will go global – so a vibrant, versatile and timeless brand identity was essential.’
One of our objectives was to ensure the restaurant’s interior elements, menus, vehicle design, uniforms, bespoke packaging and digital offering, all created by Spinach, perfectly work together to give an authentic customer experience. During an intensive 18-month project, our team at the studio in Hackney, London worked closely with the visionary restaurateurs, founders of Nobu and Busaba Ethai, to envisage and implement the new brand. We also collaborated with the interior design team Noriyoshi Muramatsu, of Tokyo’s Studio Glitt, the creative force behind Roka and Zuma.
‘The branding process is usually about refining a whole host of influences into a visual and verbal identity,’ explains Spinach creative director Adam Thomas. ‘The strength and vibrancy of the ICHIBUNS brand, however, lies in the fact we haven’t filtered anything out. Hokkaido, Tokyo Rockabillies, Japanese pop art, anime, kawaii, J-Pop… these are the elements that come together to create the Ichibuns experience.’
The name is a play on the Japanese term ‘ichiban’, as in number one. The interior salutes the Shōwa era, a fascinating time credited for the renovation of post-war creativity and the acceptance of American music and culture. This vision has produced a striking celebration of authentic memorabilia that features throughout the venue.
Stepping inside the three-story restaurant, customers are immersed in the eclectic Tokyo rock ‘n’ roll interior inspired by 1950s and 60s Japanese subcultures and the quintessential American diner, so walls are lined in a variety of Japanese ephemera including Manga comics, old newspapers and fishing flags.< Back