Storytelling was a key element in this branding project as well as its visual identity. It was very important to create a link between Japan's past and future, the modern and the traditional Japan. We seeked to create new experiences for users and give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the distinctive Japanese imagery.
Located in the emblematic Puerta de Alcalá and designed by Philippe Starck, Ramses is the setting of this exclusive concept, one which brings together the most complete lifestyle and gastronomy offer in the city. Divided into seven different areas, each is devoted to providing a unique, distinct and immersive experience. Erretres has developed the visual identity and creative concept of these seven spaces.
Natsuki. Tokyo Cuisine is a premium “gastro-Japanese” concept that aunes oriental discipline and quality in combination with the modern and contemporary Japan.
A quest to find the true essence and mystery of Japan, where we identified 3 factors: Value, Art and Experience. The sum of these elements gave us Natsuki, the perfect combination of tradition and rupture. This combination represents 21st century Japan: modern geishas, technology, kawaii and neon lights. Minimalism and Takashi Murakami’s “Superflat” also made its way into this era.
It is said, that Ramses is a real life character, an eternal traveller, a philanthropist, an inventor, a lover of unique experiences, and indeed a provider of them thereof. So, the storytelling has to be a key element of the identity throughout the entire project.
Generating a grid inspired by the neon lights of Tokyo and the phases of the moon resulted in a symbolic and contemporary visual design proposal, and one which immediately transports you to the center of the Japanese metropolis.
The story of Natuski (Suki meaning “moon”) was represented by a Kamon (Japanese family emblem) that splits to form seven others, each one a phase represented by a geisha. These Kamons were then infused with designs inspired by the neon lights of Tokyo and the kawaii culture of Japan.
This then inspired the design of contemporary graphic symbols, the typeface, and the animations which are shows on numerous interactive screens, both on the walls and used as the tables themselves.
We searched for the geisha of Natsuki. We carried out a cool-hunting study in the streets of Japan, read through Toyko’s street fashion blogs, and began to decode piece by piece the elements that define the more radical characters in Tokyo. Once again we found a direct link between Japan’s past and it’s future, and used all of this information to develop guidelines for future Natsuki photography.
For Natsuki, we developed many conventional applications, such as coasters, business cards, chopsticks, tableware and tablecloths, as well as its entire communication style.
We collaborated with Japanese artist Houxo Que, who brought the interior to life with his fluoro paints. The room was converted into a 360-degree experience that transports us to Nippon’s metropolis.
We want the visitor’s journey to begin the moment they step through the door. From the Torii* to the entrances to the temples, the experience should mark the end of the profane and the start of the sacred – we must prepare the soul of the guest as they enter the space.
Torii*: Is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the profane to the sacred.
The final form of his paintings possesses all the force of action-painting and the irreverence of graffiti. His way of painting, however, and even how he moves through space both seem more like the result of the movements of a samurai. Every stroke seems to be the result of deep reflection, whilst still appearing to have been spontaneously spurred on in a heartbeat
In Natsuki, the only constant is change, and so they seek to offer new experiences to their visitors four times per year, three times a day, or even more frequently – and does this seem possible? No? Now, however, the companies InHedit and Fazeta have made this fantasy a reality, using a system where the experience from a visitor’s previous visit is captured so that the memories can be evoked upon their return, as part of a relationship of trust with Ramses.
Natsuki has enjoyed wide coverage in the media, even in national newspapers. Ramses has informed us of the great feedback given by customers every night, and of the great enthusiasm with which visitors have engaged with the concept.