VC: The name Bento & Branding

We went through a few names deciding what we'd call ourselves. After a lot of though we settled on the name 'Bento'. This is based on the Japanese bento box. The Japanese bento is a collection of various food items, generally rice, vegetables and meat. This food is placed in individual sections of a sectioned-off shallow box. Bento boxes are generally very well presented, and both delicious and aesthetically pleasing. Here's an example of a bento box from Koishii, a Japanese restaurant that we went to for lunch and to take some photographs for our branding material and website:

Feeling that the concept of a bento box related to our ideals we decided to call ourselves Bento. Providing technology, a service and our skills - all of which come together in a nice, beautifully packaged product.

For the branding we wanted to embody the following ideas: 

  • Fun
  • Approachable
  • Encompassing our skillset - demonstrating what we do
  • Quality of design
  • Clear readability

Chris knocked up mockup of the initial design for the brand the evening we decided on the name. Going for strong type and readability, along with a strapline with a short sentence describing what we do.

We all quite liked it, but there was discussion about whether or not in conveyed the message we wanted to. A few days later we revisited the brand. Now with a more solid grasps on our ideals Cai had a go at further developing the brand. After a lot of iterations and decision on Cai's part, and with some feedback from Chris and I we ended up with this: 

We were all very happy with the result. Here's a bit from Cai explaining some of the decisions behind the brand:
"The thoughts behind the typeface – I have used a slab font which both denotes a formal, but not too commercial feel. I didn't want the type to look too formal in view of our mission statement/vision statement. The thickness of the type also matches the 'mark'. Hopefully when the type is looked at, it denotes a simple, clean minimalist feel, whilst portraying a high level of competence/professionalism."
It took a while to come up with our strapline: "Design, Development & Interaction. Beautifully Packaged". We had the 'Beautifully Packaged' portion very early on, but the precursor went through a lot of iterations before we ended up with what we have there. I'm pretty happy with it as I feel it reflects what we do pretty well.

The next job was to decide on the body type. Cai knocked up a page with a series of different potential typefaces we could pick from to decide what we'd use for our copy. We settled on Freight Sans as we found it the most readable and in line with our ideals.

We also began development of a set of brand guidelines, which you can find here.


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