The Birth of Saké
The Birth of Saké is a 2015 documentary film about Yoshida Brewery, a 144-year-old sake brewery in Ishikawa Prefecture. It documents a painstaking process of Japanese rice wine brewing that lasts 6 months each year. It is a tribute to artisans who have dedicated their whole lives to the making of rare craft.
Typography plays a significant role in the film to explain and translate an unique process of traditional sake brewing, while all the cast members in the film speak in Japanese. STUDIO NEWWORK was assigned to design the title sequence and other typographic elements for the film. To reflect its poetic shots of the centuries-old methods of sake brewing and landscapes around the brewery, our design approach to the film embraces that traditional Japanese calligraphy and modern typographic design with a Japanese aesthetic, wabi-sabi. Inspired by traditional Japanese seal stamps (Hanko), we created a series of square hanko-like design. While the English text is in the horizontal writing style, the Japanese text is in the traditional vertical writing style; it is read down the columns.
The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at the Bend Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and the Ashland Film Festival.