As a fashion brand, Akashi-Kama combines Japanese apparel aesthetics with modern elements of streetwear. Both elements are critical to the Akashi-Kama brand, and are important to understanding the bicultural inspiration behind the choices for materials, silhouettes, and finishing touches.

As an intern at Akashi-Kama, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to redesign the logo. I emphasized Japanese and/or Japanese-American influence to the logo such that the bicultural brand identity is established for all applications. I retained the minimal, understated nature of the current logo while improving the strength and iconography of the brand statement.
In addition to customization of the typeface to increase contrast of the counters for smaller scales, I replaced the hyphen with a minimal kazarimusubi—a Japanese ornamental knot, representing the unification between Japanese and American culture expressed by the brand and the Japanese-American community.

This icon can be used on its own in addition to the integrated wordmark, strengthening the brand message for all applications.
I started my process with a mind map to better understand the brand and identify visual elements for use in my logo brainstorm.
From my rough sketches, I derived several insights:

1. "A" and "K" are not only the first letters in "Akashi" and "Kama", but also appear frequently throughout the name.

2. The comma ("kama") is instantly recognizable, and there are many varieties and ways to integrate.

3. The dash between "Akashi" and "Kama" has a lot of potential as a graphic element, serving as a bridge just as Akashi-Kama bridges cultures.
The final design was refined from Option 1 presented below, of four options I pursued further.
Creative Director: Alec Nakashima
Graphic Designer: Kenzo Miura