MGM Grand Las Vegas was facing increasing competition for customers’ share of wallet. In response, MGM Grand decided to replace an aging Southwest cuisine concept with a high-end Japanese restaurant serving more than 100 kinds of sake. This included having a “Sake Sommelier” on staff to further advance the authenticity of the Japanese cuisine and overall experience.
MGM engaged us to design the brand identity for the new restaurant concept. The research we conducted influenced not only the brandmark’s font and color selection but also affected our suggested names for the restaurant. In the end, we suggested Shibuya, a fashion district located in Tokyo. As part of the exercise we worked closely with the interior architect/design team, Yabu Pushelberg (who redesigned W Hotels and Tiffany in New York). The dining room would be divided into three areas: formal dining, a large sushi bar and teppanyaki where chefs cook in front of groups on a hot metal surface. As a result, the brand mark reflected this configuration with a stylized representation of a plate, side view of sushi rolls and the iron sheet surface. A kanji mark standing for Shibuya is seen at the end of the three spot illustrations.