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Branding > 10.2 Brand Logo

Wihayo Soju Brand Logo

by Smörgåsbord

‘Wihayo’ is the first triple distilled premium soju to be made in Europe and marks Smörgåsbord’s first collaborative venture into product development with Korean/Dutch author and foodie Nathalie Ji-Yun Kranenburg.
‘Wihayo’ is made with a traditional Korean recipe – the difference and uniqueness of this soju is the fact that its core ingredient, rice, is ground by one of the oldest and tallest windmills in the Netherlands, dating from 1785. A pinch of barley is added during distillation resulting in a subtle aftertaste that carries a hint of Holland’s national tipple Jenever – the birth mother of gin. A true fusion therefore of East and West – a Korean recipe, literally given a Dutch spin.
The main challenge whilst creating the brand identity was to create an aesthetic that reflected both cultures whilst not alienating either; enough to intrigue and attract both parties in equal measure. As Wihayo is somewhat of an anomaly – a Korean Soju distilled in a Jenever distillery in the Netherlands – we set about creating a logotype and brand ‘kit of parts’ that would be a departure to the regular offerings in both the soju sector and the wider world of spirits. We honed in on a minimalist and utilitarian identity built on craft. 

Our starting point was the name we coined; Wihayo derives from the word ‘Wihayeo’ – a phrase used by young Koreans when they ‘cheers’ before drinking soju – ‘for you’ in Korean. Then came the all-important logo; we felt it important to reflect Wihayo’s principal ingredient, Korean rice, and the way it is processed. Iteration after iteration saw all superfluous detail being stripped away. The result is five overlapping circles, (expressing the notion of wind and also referencing the windmill), and the junctions at which the circles overlap are knocked out as negative space, resulting in five grains of rice.

  • Creative Directors Dylan Griffith
  • Art Directors
  • Designers Alex Frew
  • Illustrators John Beckers
  • Photographers Keith Davies
  • Editors John Beckers
  • Copywriters
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