Tokyo Ramen Show

Located in Setagaya, Tokyo, the annual Tokyo Ramen show allows for people to try different types of ramen from all over Japan. From local, collaboration, to famously created bowls from renowned chefs can all be enjoyed from the over 40 vendors. Going on for 2 weeks, the show allows plenty of time for everyone to try the various types of ramen. 


Because advertising style between Japan and America are different from each other, I was very focused on making the poster feel authentic. Playful icons that helped the viewer envision the different ingredients that go into a common bowl of ramen is something that can be read and understood across any language.  Simple and minimal composition helps to keep the information clear. 


Icons were the first things I looked at. From flat to two-tone, I wanted a style that would clearly represent an ingredient. Something not too dynamic, but clear as well as playful. 

I was really enjoying the colors of the above icons, then I remembered that the constraints were to only have a 2-color poster. (Whoops)

Back to square one. 


After looking through a lot of icons of different style, varying weight thickness, and different levels of detail, I started sketching and was able to come up with some simple icons that would fit the tone perfectly. The colored ones are again, where I forgot about the 2-color constraint. 


I also thought about playing around with some hand-drawn type, but ended up scraping that idea and sticking with a rounded typeface.

Even though it was fun to play around with creating the way I wanted the hiragana (Japanese characters) to look, I found a typeface that would better suit the job. I decided to go with the typeface 筑紫B丸ゴシック, which had both Japanese and English characters. It is a simple, clean, and modern typeface that balances out the playful icons so there's a traditional typeface to juxtapose the icons. 

Before choosing this typeface, I messed around with others as well as putting some of the compositions from paper to digital. The four below were directions and styles I was aiming to achieve. 



After reviewing the roughs above, I came up with a final one that ended up being the basis for my finals. I really enjoyed the composition, colors, icons, and typography, but I knew some things needed some re-arranging and tweaking. 



Making the show title a main component as well as the icons gives the viewer a clear idea of what the ramen show will entail. The colors are subtle but eye-catching, the icon placement didn't seem right to me though. I decided to re-arrange them so the chopsticks are on top, which is common in Japan as utensils go above the dish instead of beside it like here in America. The ingredients stayed in the middle, and the bowl went underneath them to portray them as going into the bowl.  

For the second poster, inverting the colors but still going with the concept of ingredients being placed into a bowl, the message of a ramen show is still prevalent. The title is now in Japanese, but the icons are easily interpreted no matter what language. 

The finished posters for the Tokyo Ramen show are fun, intriguing, and inviting. They can be understood in both Japanese and English, ensuring that all are able to indulge themselves in all types of ramen. 

credits to: Pinterest & MockupWorld.