Japanese Restaurant Logo Critique

Hi everyone, this is my first post here so apologies if I violate any rules or etiquette.

I’m an in-house designer working on a logo for our new restaurant, a Japanese barbeque/steak house. The goal is to look high end yet inviting. I’d like some feedback on the general direction and how the elements are working together. The logo is a kanji seal using the Japanese characters for the restaurant name. Is the square kanji seal or round more appealing/appropriate?

I was thinking of using the solid kanji on light backgrounds and the outlines on dark backgrounds.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback!

I like the looks of it. It does have an inviting, high-end personality. Good job.

If I were to make any changes, however, I might thicken up the lines in the seal just a bit. I’d likely also close up the space just a little on each side of the bullet in Jū • Jū.


overall it looks good, but I feel it lost a bit of brand spirit inside, if you can add some smart element(even a little dynamic element) which to make it a bit vibrating, I think it would be better! Coz we don’t want to have a logo with short lifetime…

A’s Just-B says, overall, a very nice solution. Personally, I like the delicacy and subtle differences of line in the seal, but would agree with line thickness at small sizes for practical reasons. I would look at having a version just for smaller sizes with slightly thicker lines (so they appear as you intend), if you print that at small sizes with (especially with the white out versions), they may just fill in. Even on screen, they may visually disappear.

I think it has a lovely flavour which gives a real sense of culture, without resorting to crass pastiche, which so many of this sort of logo do – exaggerated brush script lettering.

Also, as Just-B says, it needs a little typographic tweaking, but just in minor refinement way. Overall, it’s definitely one of the better – if not top three – things I’ve ever seen posted here for critique.

Nice work.

I agree-- nice logo but yes thicken up the lines in the seal. I do prefer the round kanji, however you could explore a small tweak and adjust to follow the J shape… it seems to have a slight angled edge at the top…? OR you could adjust the J to make it a softer curve on the top serif. I’m also struggling with the macrons above the U… they look as an after thought. Is there some way to make them more cohesive? Could be a simple as bolding them up a little and adding a slight rounded edge. You could also explore reducing the slant on the top of the U. Anything to make it more unique rather than just a standard font is better.

Thanks for the feedback. I agree about the u, those are just the standard glyphs included in the Moret font. I did have a version where I customized the macrons, so I’ll most likely utilize that.

Thanks so much! I’ll make sure the lines don’t disappear.

Just for what it’s worth, when type plays a critical role in a logo, I rarely just use the typeface as it is right out of the box.

All glyphs in a font are designed to work together in combination with every other glyph in the font. This requires compromises.

However, when you’re dealing with individual words in a logo, those out-of-the-box glyph juxtapositions are rarely ideal. Not only is a little selective kerning usually needed, but the flow and rhythm of how all the glyphs in the words work together can usually be improved by making subtle adjustments to the glyph outlines in ways that better accommodate how each letter looks and interacts with those next to it. The macron being a good example here — it’s just a rectangle that doesn’t have the subtle curvatures of the glyphs beneath them.

Exactly what Just-B said. And yes please! Customize those macrons (and/or adjust the font to make them work). As with the name of the business, they are an important part, so treat them as such-- not a standard :wink:

Another vote for custom macrons! They’re too “straight out of the box” at the moment. They don’t need to be crazy, just subtly tweaked would be good.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I’m going to continue polishing it up, and I still need to finalize the colors, but here’s a refined version.

I’m liking this much more. It’s very nice.

Could there be a bit too much space between the J and the ū? If I saw it smaller, however, I might not feel this way — maybe it’s just right. :grinning:

I’m also wondering if the lines in the seals should be a bit more traditionally calligraphic instead of perfectly even — more like they were drawn with a brush rather than with a uniform line in Illustrator.

you can actually add some more color variations.

I’m confused. If this restaurant is in the USA the first thought I have reading this is the bad juju connotation. Even if it’s pronounced differently, how do I know that from reading it. Even the rads above the u make it a long vowel sound, which reinforces the typical association. I love Japanese food, have had Japanese students living in my home, so I am not totally illiterate about Japanese things. I have had experience helping clients change their name for just such reasons. Don’t know if you can go that far but like I said if this is in the USA it might be a bit confusing.


  1. good or bad luck, stemming from good or [bad] deeds.
  2. good or bad luck, stemming from a [juju] object, potion or spell.

I’m a pretty key part of the team starting up this restaurant, so trust me, I’ve reiterated time and again that the name isn’t great. However, we’re working with a restaurant group in Japan and JuJu is the name of one of the properties we’re leveraging. In Japanese, JuJu means “Ten Ten”, so essentially the restaurant is a ten out of ten, highlighting its quality. The word “Ju” is pronounced with a long or double vowel sound in Japanese, so the macrons are required. This whole experience has really taught me that designing with a bad or mediocre business name really is a challenge. I totally agree with you, but there’s just no changing it now. I can’t overstep my bounds by beating a dead horse :confused:

I don’t mind the name. It sounds Japanese, so I didn’t draw any connotations to Western colloquialisms. Maybe it’s just because juju (good or bad) has never been part of my usual vocabulary.

I like what you’ve done with the macrons, but I’d tighten up the letter spacing a bit.

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