Maiow guides branding of Akebono Brake Industry

Maiow has created brand guidelines for Akebono Brake Industry, in a project worth a six-figure sum in fees to the London-based group.

The dual language guidelines, which launch next week, will be applied across Japanese, European and American territories and cover stationery, signage, product branding, packaging, vehicle livery, advertising, uniforms, incentive gifts and multimedia.

The focus on a cohesive, visual identity is part of the company’s move into the consumer marketplace, says Akebono Brake Industry assistant director of brand management Tatsuya Imaizumi.

‘We are now developing high-end brake systems for performance cars and for motorcycles and mountain bikes and want to gain more brand recognition. We realised that a guidelines manual was necessary to outline a consistent and aesthetic implementation of our new identity,’ he says.

‘We also needed a brand system that could be interpreted in the different cultures and languages that Akebono deal with [to deliver] a constant impression of Akebono throughout the world,’ he adds.

Developing the brand guidelines involved a visual audit across 30 offices to identify how the brand was being applied, says Maiow creative director Mai Ikuzawa.

‘We found that [offices] were using the wrong colours and typeface,’ she says. ‘There was no clear brand and no visual cohesion.’

‘Visual identity hasn’t been a key priority [for Akebono] before,’ she adds.

Ikuzawa says the biggest challenge was establishing a set of guidelines that work across four languages and five cultures.

Maiow, which was appointed in May last year, also revamped Akebono’s identity last October.

The consultancy was awarded the business following a paid, creative pitch against both Japanese and UK consultancies.

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