Thirteen courses of meticulously prepared sushi may feel incongruous in the middle of a busy food hall, but for $35, you just go with it.

Food & Wine

Envisioned as an extension of the Schulson Collective’s captivating dining experiences, DK Sushi was born from the underground izakaya at Double Knot in Center City, Philadelphia. Michael Schulson came to Cohere to craft the brand from scratch, with a clear vision in mind.

The project brief required the design and conception of a brand that could represent the quality of fresh fish and ingredients while presenting them in a fast casual, non-traditional environment. The environment? The University of Pennsylvania’s student-focused food hall, Franklin’s Table.

Challenging us to think beyond the more full-size, well known spaces such as Double Knot, Sampan, and Harp & Crown, DK Sushi needed to become a brand that encapsulated a full restaurant atmosphere in a fraction of the space: creating a fine casual experience.

DK Sushi is compact, while still maintaining the company’s aesthetic. “We still wanted to keep it designed. There’s a clean, minimalistic element.” says Schulson to Food & Wine.

 

The art of omakase

A Japanese phrase meaning “I’ll leave it up to you,” omakase-style dining offers an authentic, tailored, and intimate sushi experience. Each plate is chef-chosen to emphasize his or her distinct skill set and artistic vision. Omakase is served at the DK Sushi kitchen bar only, offering customers peak freshness and the chef absolute creative control.

Philly’s Most Surprisingly Excellent Omakase Is Inside a Student Food Hall

Food & Wine

Packaging To Match a Vision

The new space is tiny. In a departure from the sprawling, 12,500-foot Harp & Crown, or Independence Beer Garden, DK Sushi is compact, while still maintaining the company’s aesthetic.

As a result, we knew that the brand needed to travel well. Packaging design was crucial to convey the quality while protecting the elegantly displayed maki, hand rolls, nigiri and other delicate fish slices. Cohere conceived a flip-top “bento” box that was inexpensive, storable in the small space, and rigid enough to stand up to transit to and from the food hall.

 

With an organized compartment for any configuration of an order, and clear stickers to label each item, the packaging system became an effortless extension of the in-house experience.

Quality Fish, Quality Content

To capture the essence of the quality and fresh fish made to-go, specific art direction was necessary to showcase the balance between the product and the lifestyle of its intended customers (students!) That meant content direction focused on staging, models, accessories, and the overall experience possible with sushi to-go: the apartment kitchen becomes the chef’s table.

The result is a fresh inventory of edited photo content that has lasted the brand since its launch, allowing a cohesive and consistent visual experience for those considering their next bite.

Cohere can support with your restaurant branding, packaging, and collateral design. Our award-winning packaging design can be seen in restaurants across the country, in the hands of hungry customers inside and on the go. Get in touch to talk about packaging, branding, and the design of your new restaurant concept.