Tokyo Z1

A sake brand created for the UK market that embraces the distinctive beauty of Japanese calligraphy and contemporary Western typography. A striking fusion of Eastern and Western styling.

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Conceptional objective:

P&W was commissioned to create a new premium Honjozo sake brand that appeals to a broad age demographic within the UK market. Sake remains rather mysterious and enigmatic in the UK, which means it is rarely found on restaurant menus or in shopping baskets. Brewed at the 300 year old Ozawa brewery in Tokyo, the new brand is actually steeped in heritage; P&W’s objective was to provide the perfect balance of modernity and refinement, with influences from the East & West.

Creative response:

The creative solution projects overt Japanese stylistic cues and heritage, yet is contemporary and enticing. The brand name came about based from the client’s wish to inspire first-time adopters of sake – his expression was “zero to one”. This was shortened to ‘Z1’ and ‘Toyko’ was added to exude provenance. The logo design, inspired by Japanese calligraphy, was crafted in-house by P&W’s Japan-born creative, using shuji (習字) brush and ink techniques. The colours used pay homage to conventional sake labels. The paper specification and foil blocking finish make the packaging design both tactile and impactful.

Commercial Conclusion:

The proposition is easy to understand for UK consumers, and the 180ml bottle of the refreshingly dry sake is widely available online. When lockdown restrictions are lifted, the brand intends to sell Toyko Z1 at fashionable pubs, bars and restaurants to provide a drink experience that is out of the ordinary for UK consumers, offering an interesting alternative to predictable alcoholic beverage choices.