Ramen & Cats

Back of menu at Tonbo Ramen in downtown Raleigh

The design I chose for design in the wild is the logo for Tonbo Ramen, a restaurant in downtown Raleigh. I absolutely love the restaurant as well as this adorable cat eating ramen that is on the back of their menu. This design is immediately appealing to me just based on the fact that it incorporates cats and ramen, which are two of my favorite things. The cat is adorable and I really love the eyes, how they are swirling and giving the effect that the cat is mesmerized or hypnotized by the ramen it’s eating. I also enjoy the ramen and food part of the design, as it flows and matches the style of the cat. The cat coming out of the ramen with ramen on its face, food running down while its tongue is out just makes the cat and ramen seem as one. It also gives the idea that the ramen is just absolutely delicious and makes you want ramen. Overall I really enjoy the layout and the components of the design.

In this design I also enjoy the colors and style chosen. The design has a style of being sketched or hand drawn. It also has a looser feel, with the flowing of the ramen noodles as well as the curves that can be seen throughout the design. Everything in the design is more circular or curved besides the chopsticks which makes the design flow together more. The colors in the design are more pastel instead of vibrant and bright. The cat being black makes it stand out from the colors of the ramen bowl and food. The cats eyes being blue makes the memorizing look of them more noticable and stand out from the cat itself. Though the ramen noodles themselves are a darker color and I almost wish they were lighter since the cat is black. The darker color of the ramen noodles also doesn’t match the lighter color of the other food in the bowl in which I feel like the noodles should be lighter. Though overall I enjoy the design as a whole as well as the colors and style incorporated into the design.


Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Anna Howell 02/27/2019 on 10:00 PM

    I really enjoy this design as well. I think that they thought about how the typeface they used matched with the art style of the cat. With their handwritten font for the restaurant name I think it was a good choice for them to have an illustration in their menu so the art style of the name is carried into the rest of the menu. The swirls that represent the ramen are very organic and the dots on the cat that see through to the menu color makes it seem like the illustration was pressed on with ink and that continues with the theme of handwritten and organic elements.

  • Ann Salman 03/28/2019 on 4:35 PM

    I agree that the hypnotized face of the cat is trying to convince consumers to eat at the restaurant. It’s an interesting illustrative choice because I don’t think most people go to a restaurant expecting to make a mess, but the imagery is embracing the fact that ramen can be a messy dish and customers should not be afraid to be sloppy. The restaurant may want to show humility and create a personal connection with their customers; however, they may also be bragging in this way. The food is so good, the cat is not able to control itself – hence, the hypnosis – and doesn’t care about its appearance as long as it eats as much of the delicious food as possible. The colors of the illustration might be in reference to the pale watercolors and black ink that appear in ancient Japanese art. However the cat appears to be a more modern, that is, a less realistic illustration as Japanese artists seemed to have strived for anatomical accuracy in their paintings.
    Source: “Japanese art.” New World Encyclopedia. N.p., Mar. 2018. Web. 28 Mar. 2019. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Japanese_art

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