People will ask what does “Nexto” mean. The answer is quite simple: “It means the ramen, robatayaki restaurant located NEXT TO TWO.” As in TWO its big brother restaurant it shares an industrial warehouse complex with. Calling it "Nexto" as in "next to Two" was a good way to connect the two concepts but also give it its own distinct name. We conceived the name as well as the branding for Nexto. Having fun with its location but also the space itself. It happens to be housed in a very unassuming but sexy industrial metal shed. We loved the idea of exploring a robot theme which plays nicely into Japanese pop-culture. But, this is something that has been done quite a lot so to do it in a new way was the real challenge.Enter Nihon. An extensive and beautiful typeface designed by Malwin Béla Hürkey that takes traditional western glyphs and gives them a Japanese appearance. A typeface almost tailor made for this project was hard to ignore. Within that typeface we saw that when you flip many of the letter forms on their side they looked like super simple blocky robot heads. Perfect! From that we used many of the letter faces as robot heads to infuse personality and distinction across the branding and visual experience of the space. Not sure if we did this typeface honor but it might be the most well matched font to a project we ever paired up.
In addition to the branding and collateral we designed the giant robot light dot “sign” which illuminates the entire parking lot, the verbal language, the website and all other promotional materials. Proud to have produced a number of pieces to be slurped all over!