Responses by Rishi Shourie, principal/creative director and Brooke Willis, creative director, Character
Background: When Vermicular launched in Japan, it was an instant success. We wanted to translate that success here in the US. However, you can’t just duplicate it. You have to craft every part of the brand’s visual and verbal story for the US consumer, which required us to reimagine every part of the brand—that level of ownership and challenge is every designer’s dream.
Our work with Vermicular included all touch points of its US launch, including the site, launch video, cookbook and brochure centered upon the Japanese concept of Yugen, “a profound and mysterious sense of the beauty within the universe.” The art direction evokes a sense of allure and mystique through dramatic shadows, textureal styling, harmonious compositions and painterly color palettes. It celebrates Vermicular’s ability to enhance the flavors of each ingredient while intriguing users to dive deeper into the brand.
Highlights: The Vermicular site experience might have e-commerce aims, but it balances those leanings by immersing users in a rich narrative of design, heritage and cuisine. The site design itself is inspired by a simplified, clean Japanese aesthetic. The Musui, the cast iron pot, and Kamado, the innovative warming structure, are presented without distraction, highlighting the minimalist craft of the products.
Favorite details: How we were able to incorporate the brand video and lifestyle imagery into the site as we found these elements really effective and elevating to the product. We used subtle background textures and slight parallax effects throughout the site to set up the lifestyle photography without overpowering it.
Navigational structure: Vermicular has an incredible story to tell; we wanted the navigation to enable users to dig deeper into the brand’s history while providing a seamless shopping experience. We did this by creating sub-navigational features that allows users to explore the product without overwhelming them with content.