Kimoto Junmai Sake Packaging Design

To me, the design of this bottle is both pleasing and a bit odd. Let’s begin with the bad, I find the contrast between a matte, black bottle with pastel green to be a bit disconcerting, the matte black bottle feels like it should be paired with a more simplistic, minimalist design that uses less bright cheery colors. I notice this style of odd color pairings often in Japanese design, I believe this is because of the differing artistic history in the country that led to preferences outside of what I learned was “good design”. I love the attention to detail the designer put in through the embossing of the label and the interesting, semi-transparent cap. I also can’t help but enjoy the strange color choices, despite how non-traditional they seem in western design. Overall, The packaging design for this rather popular sake is a bit out there, I find the cultural influence and attention to detail both charming and interesting.

Discussion — 2 Responses

  • Ava Enochs 04/28/2021 on 1:38 PM

    Hello Noah,
    I actually just recently tried Sake for the first time, so I thought the timing of this post was too good not to acknowledge. One of the first distinctions between this bottle and many other ones that I’ve seen is that its matte. For whatever reason, most of the bottles I’ve ever seen that are meant to hold liquid are transparent. I agree, there is something slightly disconcerting about the bottle- to me it is because you can’t see whats inside. I also like the point that you brought up regarding how design norms are different depending on the cultural history of a place. This is something that is important to acknowledge because to me, design is all about perspectives. Our own identities and positionally in the world heavily influence the way that we design and view other designed objects.

  • Jeremy Lewis 04/30/2021 on 9:31 AM


    I too am disconcerted by this bottle’s design. Like you and Ava have both mentioned, the matte material paired with this pastel green, not allowing us to see what is inside, has a certain mystery that for a food/drink item does confuse. Seems like maybe we are missing a piece of the puzzle here culturally that this particular sake brand has a better understanding of or maybe it is just a matter of cultural differences in design practice. Either way, the intriguing qualities of the bottle’s shape paired with the unique pastels allow it to sit well within the context of other sake brands. But, the small details, like the bottle’s shape, may be that intricacy that makes the person deciding on what sake brand to try next. It is interesting to ponder how we may see this as a strange color choice, but at the same time another culture may understand this to sit perfectly in this context. Or, like you said Noah, the odd choices may be for a western audience in an attempt to subtly stand out from the rest.

    Good find!

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