Tokyu Hands Reborn as ‘Hands.’ A Closer Look at Nendo’s Rebranding

Last year a collective groan from the creative community was heard around Japan and the world after it was announced that Tokyu Hands, everyone’s favorite DIY retailer, was being sold to to Cainz, a home improvement store operator. The fate of the brand had been shrouded in mystery until today, when it was announced that Tokyu Hands had been rebranded to Hands. Let’s take a look at the design which, if nothing else, signals an investment into a brand that has been cherished by so many.


The rebranding is the work of nendo, who dropped the name of the former company and decided to just use the word Hands; a logical choice given most people had always referred to the retailer as simply “hands.”

Next, nendo decided to represent the new name using 手, the kanji for hand. And it’s expressed using the single-stroke style of calligraphy known as hitofudegaki, which adds a sense of excitement and anticipation for what’s to come. Although the store does have locations overseas, primarily in Taiwan and Singapore, the thinking was that the kanji is a relatively simple one, and would help reinforce the brand’s Japanese roots.

Although we’re sad to see the phrase “creative life store” disappear, we love that the original color was kept. Overall, we think it’s a lovely design that elegantly manages to be something new while paying homage and respect to the past. Take a look at the images below to see how the branding plays out across multiple formats.



  1. Very nice work. Still, I will miss the Tokyu Hands logo.

  2. Kanji is almost the same as Chinese characters so it will be no problem in Taiwan and Singapore

  3. Tokyu means 10-9 (ten-nine) in Japanese. This name has special meaning to me because my birthdate falls on October 9 (10/9). In 2015, while in Tokyo, I wondered why the company’s name was Tokyu when the capital is named Tokyo. At the time, I did not know about Goroawase — Japanese number wordplay. I am sad to see that Tokyu is no longer used in Tokyu Hands, however, I am glad that there are still company names that act as reminders of the connection that I share with Japan — Tokyu Group, Tokyu Railways, etc.

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