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.