In a Big City of Nature

For Visitors and Residents
Portraying the Essence of the City

We were in charge of the brand development for THE KNOT SAPPORO, a hotel located in the heart of Sapporo. The urban city is surrounded by rich nature, which is characteristic of Sapporo and became an essential factor in devising the brand concept with Tosaken inc. From the visual identity to the interior space and amenities, the development of the project covered a wide range of areas.

Client: Ichigo Inc. / Collab: Tosaken inc.

A City Embraced by Nature
Philosophy that Shows the Ideal for a Hotel
Born Here

A metropolis lined with skyscrapers, but surrounded by vast mountains once you step outside. It also has a history of pioneering and coexisting with different cultures. What should a hotel born in this place be like? We formulated the brand philosophy, “In a Big City of Nature,” which expresses the THE KNOT SAPPORO’s philosophy for guests, staff and everyone involved. Various touchpoints for experiencing the brand were also designed based on this philosophy.

Visual Identity that Embodies the Brand’s Philosophy

In addition to its unique geography where nature and city meet, Sapporo supports the Ainu culture, Meiji era pioneers, and a history of accepting and developing various cultures. Nature & city, human & human, and history & culture come together into a FUSION. We distilled the essence of the city into the concept, “THE FUSION” and developed a visual identity that can freely shuffle and transform.The letters of the logotype are stenciled, where each letter in “THE KNOT” and “SAPPORO” is broken down and reconfigured to form a single visual. This expresses the respect THE KNOT has for Sapporo and the hope that the hotel, hand-in-hand with the city, can create new value.



The logotype was separated into individual parts and reconfigured into a single image. The letters of the brand name create a completely new image by freely blending and creating FUSION.


Typeface Design

We designed a full set of an original typeface. It allows for repeated usage at various touchpoints with guests such as amenities and signage.

Color Scheme

The color scheme consists of three shades of gray that form the base and copper as the accent.

Color Scheme —Combination—

For the logotype, we defined color combinations using the three grays. This enables adaptability to any scene and design while maintaining the brand image.

Shapeshifting and Forming the Brand’s Worldview

By taking advantage of its ability to freely transform, THE KNOT SAPPORO’s visual identity, the symbol of the brand, portrays its effectiveness in all scenes from art and building signage to amenities. The brand can express its worldview even in contexts without the logotype and highlights the unique multifaceted worldview while unifying the visual image of the brand.

Fluid Changes Create Harmony with the Space and Time

At times used as art to enliven a space or as a functional sign to guide guests, and other times as an amenity for guests to interact with. Because the design can be adjusted to any situation, the most appropriate one for each scene and purpose can realize comfortable communication.

This visual series uses the letters that make up the brand name, “THE KNOT SAPPORO,” and rearranges them into various patterns. Different posters were developed for each guest room to create individuality.

Various amenities use designed based on the initial letters of their content. The typeface is used as explanation and as design accents.

A bold design that uses different grays for the left and right. After repeated back-and-forth with linen manufacturers, we were able to develop original, unprecedented pajamas.

Interacting with the Local Community for New Innovation

THE KNOT SAPPORO has a number of projects underway, such as a gallery to introduce various Hokkaido cultures and collaboration projects with local artists. By taking advantage of the fact that this is a place where people locally and abroad gather and by introducing the local culture to a large number of people, we communicate the city’s charm.

The gallery space KADO is located on the first floor of the hotel. The multifunctional space is not only a place for artists to present their work, but also a place for fashion, music, popup stores and a wide range of other cultural activities.

The commemorative first exhibition focuses on modern Kikori (woodcutting). It focuses on modern lumberjacks and introduces their conceptual approach to forestation, in which they go back and forth between nature and city.

We used the stairs leading from the basement to the ground floor as a gallery because we wanted to create a space where people could feel THE KNOT SAPPORO’s philosophy through art. A different artist was selected for each floor, respectively creating artwork based on a concept that resonated with the brand’s philosophy.

Above: “HORIZON” by Kineta Kunimatsu
Left: “Caldera” by Hiroyasu Kosukegawa

Restroom sign by Mitsugu Aikawa

Art Project Spanning Across THE KNOT Locations

Each THE KNOT location appointed artists with ties to their respective regions to create original goods in a common medium, such as tote bags and masks, for an art project that spans across the entire THE KNOT brands. At THE KNOT SAPPORO, we presented works by Yasuhiro Kasami, Shino Hisano, MARCOMONK, and Yuya Suzuki.

From top left to right: Coaster by Yasuhiro Kasami / Coaster by Shino Hisano  / Mask by MARCOMONK / Tote bag by Yuya Suzuki

Owned Media to Spread Sapporo Culture

In addition to basic hotel information, the website provides a variety of information on local culture, art, event announcements, and digital delivers the brand’s values. This is in part with THE KNOT’s global branding, which has been developed in various regions, and has been translated into a digital strategy linked to the global site.

More Works