Case study

Susuru is a little piece of Tokyo in Newie.

Headjam was engaged by Taiyo, a longtime client at Headjam who runs Nagisa, to develop the brand and website for Susuru, Newcastle's first Ramen and Gyoza bar. Therefore, we wanted to create a tiny little piece of Tokyo right here in Newy. The branding look and feel is really vibrant and colourful taking cues from the Japanese culture of manga.

The brand is multi-layered, like Susuru food with lots of rich flavours. It's something different and fun, like eating noodles.

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Serial entrepreneur Taiyo Namba, owner of Nagisa and Spirit of Japan (both Headjam clients), has done it again - this time he's brought Tokyo to Newcastle's growing hub in King St by way of a fast-food Ramen and Gyoza bar.

Taiyo identified a gap in the Newcastle city market for quick, delicious, flavoursome fast-food that still had a little bit of a restaurant vibe to it.

The Ramen and Gyoza bar was designed to facilitate the ordering and delivery of food to happen quickly, made possible by the pre-preparation and quick Ramen noodle-making process. The design of the restaurant is less restaurant and more cafeteria, welcoming people to sit down and eat at the restaurant without the pressure of restaurant appropriate clothing.

Headjam were brought on board to once again help Taiyo bring his vision to life. Headjam worked alongside architect Ben Berwick, to develop a brand that is harmonious and considered in context with the interiors.

As part of this collaboration, Headjam were to develop a logo and supporting brand elements, then roll this all out into signage, way-finding, menus, uniforms and a simple website.


To establish the Susuru brand in the Newcastle marketplace.

Target Audience

Newcastle restaurant-goers; students, inner-city workers, singles, couples and city dwellers.

Consumer Proposition

Gastronomic fast food.

Desired Consumer Response

‘I’m dreaming of delicious Ramen and Gyoza’.

Creative Solution

Taiyo’s mission was to bring Tokyo to Newcastle by offering a true, authentic Tokyo experience, not only through the traditional and delicious Ramen and Gyoza, but also via the restaurant with it’s interior and exterior design, as well as the restaurant’s brand.

In order to develop the best brand identity for this exciting new Japanese eatery, we consumed ourselves in all things Tokyo and grew the brand from these roots. Tokyo as a city is eccentric, fast-paced, and unapologetically bold. The Tokyo Metro is iconic, progressive, urban, and is fundamental to the running of the city. We wanted to immerse Susuru’s customers in this feeling, so the graphics we devised for the brand use a combination of illustrations and graphics which created a layered, textured platform that felt like the busyness of Tokyo.

In terms of the business name, Susuru means ‘slurp’, which is the polite thing to do when you are eating your Ramen! Noodles are a fun thing to eat and this was definitely reflected in the overall graphics and brand identity that we created. Susuru was pitched to us as being affordable, low cost and universally appealing, so it was important that the brand spoke to this conscious decision and didn’t communicate a more restaurant/fine dining positioning. We achieved this through comic book styled characters and bold, punchy graphics and colours.

The logo we created is simple and uses the Japanese symbol for Susuru/slurp.


Susuru has been a huge success in bringing authentic Ramen and Gyoza to Newcastle for the first time. Since opening, they have served an amazing array of delicious Japanese treats; 110,608 portions of Raman and 241,899 Gyoza at the time of print.

As well as the positive sales, the business has diversified into their own bespoke delivery service that now services most of the Newcastle CBD and surrounding suburb areas. Several successful social campaigns have been implemented by Susuru directly to generate engagement and a great culture around the business. Cheers to many more years of delicious Ramen ahead.

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