Erretres crafts an identity for Philippe Starck's new Japanese restaurant Natsuki

When it came to crafting the identity for Natsuki – a new Japanese restaurant in Madrid designed by Philippe Starck – Spanish studio Erretres was handpicked for the task. Fusing oriental traditions with modern elements of electric, neon Japan, Erretres was challenged with helping to create a unique, all-immersive experience for lovers of Eastern gastronomic cuisine.

Going on the brief that Natsuki didn't want to be "another minimalist Japanese restaurant", the Spanish design firm – which was founded by Pablo Rubio Ordás in 2002 – decided to visit Tokyo on a quest to find the true essence of the Land of the Rising Sun.

From their fact-finding tour they identified three pointers: value, art and experience – all of which would form the basis of the brand. Erretres explained: "The sum of these elements gave us Natsuki: the perfect combination of tradition and rupture. This was 21st century Japan: modern geishas, technology, kawaii and neon lights. Minimalism and Superflat also made its way into this era."

Generating a grid inspired by the neon lights of Tokyo and the phases of the moon, and taking inspiration from popular kawaii characters – Erretres created a symbolic and contemporary visual identity, one that immediately transports you to the Japanese metropolis. Bold, fun and playful – the identity was rolled out to all contact points, from coasters, chopsticks and business cards to tableware and communication materials. And when it came to the restaurant space, Erretres collaborated with Japanese artist Houxo Que to bring the interior to life with his fluorescent paints.