Wok to Walk began life in 2004 as a tiny restaurant in Amsterdam, inspired by the founders’ travels around Asia. Fast forward to today, and it’s a global food brand with over 100 sites in 20 countries.
While the company has always placed emphasis on healthy, affordable and freshly cooked food, over the years perceptions of the brand had become muddled amid the raft of convenient but unhealthy fast food offerings on the high street. Hoping to address this common misconception, the brand enlisted the help of Without, a London-based studio that has previously worked with Wahaca, Sushi Daily and Caravan.
Wok to Walk’s repositioning is grounded in the history of its namesake, which was first invented in China over 2,000 years ago. The wok’s rounded bottom works by sealing in heat and nutrition, so fresh food can be cooked quickly with less oil and more flavour.
Inspired by this ancient form of cooking, the new logo features a wok with a lightning bolt in the middle, which doubles as a signature W. Building on the dynamic mark, Without created a suite of patterns that sit across uniforms, takeaway bags and typographic posters.
A refreshed colour palette introduces new gradients inspired by the cinematography of Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai. Meanwhile, a new photography style and art direction seek to translate the colours, flavours and emotion of Chinese street food, instead of falling back on tired clichés.
The brand’s renewed emphasis on copywriting also focuses on food quality, seasonal recipes and ingredients, rather than price or meal deals. In this vein, the chefs – who attend circus school as part of their training – have been renamed as Woksmiths to highlight their cooking credentials.
The new restaurant interiors, which Without advised on, will now be open plan and built around the Woksmiths, so that customers can see the food being prepared for themselves.
Finally, in order to connect with customers on a more emotional level, Woki has been introduced as the new Wok to Walk brand mascot. “Woki is the spirit of the Woksmith,” the studio explains. “Bold, creative and enthusiastic with a mischievous, rule-breaking streak.”