Art direction, Branding, Packaging


  • Agency Kinetic Singapore
  • Creative director Pann Lim
  • Art director Esther Goh, Astri Nursalim, Gian Jonathan, Jack Tan, Pann Lim
  • Writer Eugene Tan, Joseph Davies
  • Year 2012

The client wanted to launch Singapore’s first ever fully customizable sushi store. Being offered a wide selection of fresh ingredients, diners could pick and choose precisely what went into their hand-rolls.

A fresh take on sushi

We proposed naming the store “Maki-San” for one simple reason: the word “-San” roughly translates as “mister” or “missus” in Japanese, and by using this suffix, each Maki could be uniquely personified. This idea also extends to operations: customers can name their own rolls however they choose to. The logo is made up of emoticons commonly used in Japanese pop culture.


Endless possibilities

Using hand-drawn illustrations of mushrooms, avocados, cucumbers, and other ingredients, we designed a myriad of patterns which became Maki-San’s main visual identity. These motifs were applied throughout the consumer experience – right down to the packaging – to play up the endless, fun options available for diners.

What’s in a name?

To inspire customers in their Maki creations, we created amusing combinations such as “Kevin’s Bacon”, “Ebi Road”, and “Curry-OK”. The illustrated Maki rolls were extruded to reveal their ingredients.

Only your favourites

At Maki-San, customers have the ability to exclude any ingredient they don’t fancy. This preposition is amplified with a series of posters which hang vibrantly on the walls. Some usual culprits are personified into villains straight out of a Japanese manga comic.