Launching an Asian food revolution

By Tom,

January 2016

In 2013 amateur cooks Dale and Larkin took BBC One’s Masterchef by storm, reaching the final and cooking up some incredible food. During their time on the show Larkin, a lawyer, told Dale, a businessman, about a dream he had—to revolutionise the Asian takeaway industry.
A picture of Larkin and Dale from Hokkei

The guys asked us to help them realise this dream. From brand strategy and art direction to content and tone of voice, and from typography and illustration to interior and website design, we’ve been involved throughout.


Our process started by really getting to know the market. We did extensive research into Asian food, culture and traditions, and looked in-depth at disruptive brands shaking things up in the food industry.

Images from the research phase of the project


Throughout the project we helped Hokkei develop their business and brand strategy. We led the brand positioning, messaging and market analysis.

User testing

To design the best customer experience we ran interactive persona workshops where we tested menu concepts, ordering procedures and pricing options. Testing these options early helped Hokkei create their menu based on valuable insight and feedback.

Image from the user testing we carried out


To keep things on track we provided consultancy for the planning, management and delivery of the project. We worked closely with partners such as the interior contractors, architects, printers and IT specialists to make sure everything was in place.

Image from a planning session with Hokkei partners

A forward thinking identity

To allow for flexibility in the future we developed a simple, customised wordmark. A mark that can sit in different environments as the overall brand develops.

The slanted ‘tittle’ on the letter ‘i’ is a nod to the traditional Asian chefs knife and the method of ‘bias slicing’ ingredients on a 45° angle, often used in oriental cooking. It also represents the forward thinking concept behind the brand.

The Hokkei logo

Type inspired by Asia

To help link the Hokkei brand to its Asian roots we looked to traditional Chinese calligraphy as a basis for a bespoke typeface. Using brush pens we hand rendered multiple versions of every letter, number and punctuation mark to create a flexible and variable brand font.

Type inspired by Asia
Creating the custom Hokkei typeface


In order to bring the brand to life we developed an illustration style based on lino cut printing. This technique created a textured, hand rendered quality that suited the brand perfectly.

Custom illustrations used in the project
Custom illustrations used in the project

Print & packaging

In the planning stages it became clear it wasn’t just the food that was different about Hokkei. The guys had a vision for the Hokkei Box which would be a defining part of the experience. We developed a range of packaging design, menu designs and promotional materials for the launch.

Images of the Hokkei box packaging
Toward makes the creation of a brand seem effortless. They have the energy and imagination to bring your vision to life.
Dale Williams
Image showing the branding for each Hokkei Box


We worked with the brilliant food photographer Huw Jones to create a library of beautiful photographs which have been used in marketing materials, social media campaigns and email marketing.

Images of food photography

Defining a brand language

We think how a brand ‘sounds’ is equally as important as how it looks. We worked closely with Hokkei to develop a brand language, tone of voice and messaging that is engaging, quirky and represents the people behind business.

Image showing the messaging and copywriting for Hokkei


We’ve developed a range of promotional campaigns for Hokkei, including a ‘taster menu’ launch campaign, special offers, seasonal events and marketing messaging.

Images of campaign work for Hokkei

Designing the environment

Our vision for Hokkei didn’t stop at the front door. We worked with the interior fitters to art direct the interior design. From finishes and materials, to internal graphics and messaging we ensured the brand was central to the whole customer experience.

Images of the interior and exterior branding for Hokkei

Getting social

We manage a social media strategy for Hokkei, developing a vast range of promotional social marketing graphics, creating ongoing marketing plans and we even managed the team’s social accounts during launch.

Image of Hokkei social campaigns

Taking the brand online

For any brand it’s essential that the customer experience is consistent and memorable across every medium. We developed a bold and beautiful website that tells the Hokkei story, focuses on the quality ingredients and unique techniques, and showcases the amazing food.

Image of the Hokkei website
Image of the Hokkei website

Dale from Hokkei said...

"The whole Toward team makes the creation of a brand seem effortless. They have the energy and imagination to be able to bring your vision to life—and the experience to be able to bring all the elements of a project together. From initial engagement through to the creation of our entire marketing approach, we felt confident that we could trust Toward to deliver and that we were in safe hands.

We continue to work with the Toward team daily, they’re instrumental in helping us plan our customer engagement activity and develop our overall strategy, acting as true partners. Toward are way more than web designers, they're a team of brand consultants who will elevate your business to new heights."