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SakaMai

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SakaMai is a modern Japanese restaurant in Lower East Side, NYC. The owners started the restaurant to provide a unique twist on Japanese cuisine, and teach the LES that saké is about much more than saké bombs. 

Audience:
NYC foodies, sake enthusiasts, and people looking for a new experience who have never tried Japanese cuisine and don’t know the ins and outs of saké.

Challenge for the new logo:
• Reflect the modern, innovative dishes + cultural inspiration that is SakaMai
• Be unique and intriguing without being off-putting. It's a high end restaurant, but also very approachable.
• Make a statement and grab the attention of wandering NYers in their quest for innovative cuisine in a neighborhood with endless options

I think the current logo is missing an opportunity to really stand out and reflect their unique restaurant.

Walking through the LES, I came across a lot of competing restaurants:

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I really like the feel of Azasu and Yopparai, and these storefronts in the area really made me look twice:

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I gathered this collection of logos for inspiration because they have the same attitude I am looking for in the logo redesign for SakaMai. Minimal, modern, clean, but still with some flavor. 

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I also found some inspriation in the characters that represent "SakaMai". Sakamai  means “saké rice,” referring to rice that is cultivated solely for the production of saké. The characters still phonetically read as “sakamai,” but are translated as “to drink and dance.”

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When I started sketching I found some interesting relationships with the letters, and the negative space that the diagonal lines in the A, K, and M could form. Initial sketches:

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Favorites to choose between! Welcome any feedback :)

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Results so far!

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