Following on from our work for The Slanted Door, Charles Phan enlisted Manual to create an identity for his new restaurant, Wo Hing General Store, situated at the epicenter of the Mission district. The restaurant’s name pays homage to a small grocery store that Phan’s uncle and father owned in Vietnam after fleeing China in the 1960s. Phan intentionally wanted to avoid any visual reference to a general store, but asked that Chinese characters be incorporated into the identity.
The logo plays with the delicate nature of noodles, a main staple on the restaurant’s menu. We also noticed a similarity to the structure of tubular neon signs that are often associated with Chinese street food. In addition to the logo, we created a rich, colorful visual language using only the aforementioned humble noodle. Using a scanner, our designers experimented with raw and cooked noodles to create a number of flowing, abstract images, reminiscent of cyanotype photograms.
As a departure from the ubiquitous neon sign seen in many Chinese restaurants, Manual designed a lightweight transparent window sign, screen printed with electroluminescent ink.