Capturing the Environment

We captured the environment of the space using an illustration style that was a modern take on a traditional Japanese style.

One side of the space fea­tures a rai­sed woo­den sea­ting area, with low tables and cushions on the floor for seats with a strict no-shoe poli­cy. We crea­ted Signa­ge and Way­fin­ding that direc­ted the custo­mers visual­ly, through illus­tra­ti­on, which is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage. This allo­wed us to com­mu­ni­ca­te the same messa­ge to both English and Japa­ne­se nati­ves without using writ­ten trans­la­ti­ons.



 Bringing a Slice of Japan to Manchester

We had the plea­su­re of deve­lo­ping the Bran­ding and Spa­ti­al design for Cha.ology; A uni­que Japa­ne­se Teahou­se that has recent­ly ope­ned it’s doors in the heart of Man­ches­ter City Cent­re. The Teahou­se aims to cap­tu­re the tra­di­ti­on and heri­ta­ge of Japan in a clean, sophisti­ca­ted and con­tem­pora­ry way that works for the Wes­ter­nis­ed mar­ket. We worked along­side Hong Kong born foun­der of Cha.ology,  Mei Lee on crea­ting a con­tem­pora­ry brand that is firm­ly roo­ted in Japa­ne­se Heri­ta­ge.




The Tatami System

It was important that the over­all iden­ti­ty for Cha.ology was hea­vi­ly influ­en­ced by the tra­di­tio­nal tea-drin­king cul­tu­re of Japan. We found our inspi­ra­ti­on in the Tata­mi Floo­ring Sys­tem. The tata­mi is a type of mat used as a floo­ring mate­ri­al in tra­di­tio­nal Japa­ne­se-style rooms. They are made from a series of blocks that stack and slot toge­ther in a grid-like for­ma­ti­on. We used this grid as a based for our Brand­mark. The wor­ds Cha.ology were split and pla­ced insi­de dif­fe­rent shaped tata­mi blocks which then crea­ted a dyna­mic, inter­ch­an­ge­ab­le brand­mark that refe­ren­ces the envi­ron­ment and inte­ri­or of the teahou­se.




Precision Meets Playfulness

We car­ri­ed on the Tata­mi con­cept through into the Grid Sys­tems that are used throug­hout the brand. The menus for examp­le are made ent­i­re­ly of dif­fe­rent sized blocks that stack and slot toge­ther to crea­te a modern inter­pre­ta­ti­on of the tra­di­tio­nal Japa­ne­se Cul­tu­re. The menus nee­ded to con­tain two columns which hou­sed both English and Japa­ne­se trans­la­ti­ons and the grids hel­ped us keep struc­tu­re and a form to this pro­cess.

No Shoes Allowed


Design by
Made By Alpha­bet


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