By : Studio AANAGRAM
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 16th edition
Discipline : Communication & Branding
Categories : Environmental Design / Brand Universe : Gold Certification
Reinventing a brand that thirsts for change
For Hank and Yuki who are from Japan, matcha is not like any other tea. It is at the center of a centuries-old way of life and philosophy. Born from this desire to share a tradition that is dear to them, they have opened their first Matcha Zanmai store in downtown Montreal in 2018 where they offer traditional beverages for purists, as well as recipes of their own creations and pastries for the epicurious.
When presented the opportunity to open a counter space at the Marché des Promenades at Carrefour Saint-Bruno, the owners called AANAGRAM to develop their new environment concept and took the opportunity to reformulate their visual identity, as well as their packaging elements and promotional material, which struggled to clearly express its positioning.
At the heart of this new identity, three pillars emerged from the strategic exercise led by ANAGRAM: satisfaction, authenticity and family. The brand evokes a feeling of well-being and lightness linked to indulgence and promises artisan know-how based on an intimate knowledge of ancestral rites and rituals, the exceptional quality of ingredients and the rigorousness associated with traditional Japanese cuisine.
A successful matcha tea can be recognized by the dense but light foam produced by whisking. Inspired by these essential elements, the studio has developed an endearing “mascot” symbol that expresses an important notion of sociability linked to the brands experience. The symbol also refers to gourmet frozen desserts, an important part of their offer.
The layout of the counter space is divided into two areas, the service area and the sitting area. United by the minimalist materiality of noble materials such as natural wood and metal, and resting on a monolithic concrete base with a floating bench, they can respond to different service tempos.
In order to be able to hold ceremonies with their customers in a more intimate area, AANAGRAM proposes to work the sitting area according to traditional architectural principles inspired by Sukiya-style tea houses. In this spirit, the combination of materials, the junctions of the structural elements and the structured assembly of the wooden frames highlighted by the sconce lighting signed Luminaires Authentik, makes this restricted space more welcoming.
The curves that characterize the service counter, the hanging stools and the tubular metal structure that houses the signage and the menu, contributes to establishing the space in a contemporary context and integrates itself coherently with the graphic language of the plump and airy symbol. The accents of the brand\’s official green makes it possible to capture attention in a public market context and display its specific offer. The universe developed for Matcha Zanmai makes it possible to combine the rigorousness of the traditional Japanese codes specific to matcha tea and the casualness of the ice cream counter.