A single grain of rice inspires the visual identity of sushi joint Koi & Roi in Mexico

sushi bar
Koi & Roi sushi bar in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
(Image credit: TBC)

Local design studio Panamá is going against the grain with its latest project – a top-to-toe visual overhaul of sushi joint Koi & Roi in Monterrey, the capital city of Nuevo León, Mexico. Panamá Studio took the symbolic importance of a single grain of rice in Japanese cuisine, and formed the new identity around it.

‘Through a series of graphic exercises, we reviewed the typeface, and customised the font, presenting a timeless and modern interpretation of a rice grain, based on the concept of "duality",' explains the firm. The concept presents in the form of an almost exclusively black and white colour palette, which continues through the graphic identity and into the space, warmed only by the rosy tones of maple plywood along the bar and shelving.

Detail view of branding, letter KOI

Detail view of the rice-inspired Koi & Roi branding

(Image credit: TBC)

Tiny, black and white rice-white tiles oscilate across the countertop, mimicking the grain-shaped patterns covering the sushi paper, menus and sustainable take-out containers. A Bruce Nauman-esque neon sign sings on the wall, echoing the pill-shaped motif. Even the ‘O' in Koi & Roi is shaped like a grain of rice.

The menu – an oriental-occidental fusion – comprises two signature dishes. The Roll, (commonly known as a ‘Sushi Burrito'), filled with the likes of salmon, spicy tuna, avocado, masago, cucumber, lettuce and cilantro. The Bowl, (commonly known as ‘Poke-Bowl'), piled high with well-balanced bites such as edamame, cream cheese, salmon, chives, togarashi and sesame. In both, the well-seasoned rice is the star – the base that holds the dish, and the concept, together.

food parcel

(Image credit: TBC)

seating and high table tops

(Image credit: TBC)

menus and kitchen

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit the Koi & Roi website

Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.