Developed by international ad agency I&S BBDO for the umino seaweed shop, ‘design nori’ is a series of intricately laser-cut seaweed for rolling sushi. each sheet of five designs– ‘sakura’ (‘cherry blossoms’), ‘mizutama’ (‘water drops’), ‘asanoha’ (‘hemp’), ‘kikkou’ (‘turtle shell’), and ‘kumikkou’ (‘tortoise shell’)– is based on an element of japanese history or symbology, meant to bring beauty, good fortune, growth, happiness, and longevity.
The mission: to respark the sale of nori following the tsunami in japan of 2011, when japanese are eating less seaweed than in the past.
via Design Boom
We needed to make NORI appealing among young urban audience – but how? It is nothing more than a black square of seaweed, with its primitive design that has not changed since its creation in the early 15th century. People perceived it as a commonplace product and paid little attention on the difference among the brands. A visible difference is needed for our brand.
Describe the brief from the client
Our client is a traditional manufacturer of NORI (seaweed) in North East Japan, who has struggled with the long declining category trend, and with damage from the tsunami that swept away their factories. The client wanted us to design new packaging that can reinforce its appeal to the modern urban audience.
Description of how you arrived at the final design
We decided to apply design thinking to the product itself, instead of focusing exclusively on packaging, Laser cutters are used to carve designs into our NORI – classic patterns from Japanese history called ‘Monyo’ which signify growth, beauty, luck, and so on. Themes we thought that could uplift people in the disastrous year. By combining authentic tradition with modern technology, we created an entirely new type of NORI, never seen before – one that conveys our hopes for the future, as well as our respect for the past.