Umu Kitchen

Brand identity & design

A new identity

From a burning passion for coffee and all things delicious, Umu Kitchen was born. The lovechild of Emily and Soane, this culinary affair has brought a taste of Tonga to Brisbane's leafy southern suburb of Tarragindi.

Naming their baby was easy, with “Umu” being inspired by Soane’s proud Tongan heritage meaning “polynesian earth oven”, while the more obvious “kitchen” being the place where Soane and Emily work their magic.

Leveraging Soane’s culturally diverse chef training with Emily’s biomedical science degree, the cafe’s menu boasts an inconspicuously healthy, yet super tasty selection.

When By Ninja partnered with Umu Kitchen to create their brand, we decided to pay homage to the cafe’s name and location through a modern minimalist adaptation of traditional Tongan iconography, tattoo and tapa craft.

This adaptation is symbolic of Soane’s Tongan routes, interwoven with his other culinary learnings, while the negative space used to generate the breaks in the pattern is representative of Emily’s scientific influence on Umu Kitchen.

The adapted typefaces embody minimalism, while their subtly rounded ends confirms Umu Kitchen’s welcoming nature. The angular element featured in the ‘t’ in ‘kitchen’ provides a gentle visual connection to traditional Tongan iconography.

Umu Kitchen

Business card
Loyalty card

Our role
Creative direction
Brand identity

More info below
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