Milu is a contemporary fast-casual restaurant, offering traditional Chinese flavors with a modern twist. Opening in the heart of Manhattan, just blocks from Madison Square Park, Milu was born of an enthusiastic exploration of Chinese regional cuisines and a desire to share the flavors and cultures.
Created by alums from Daniel Humm’s Make It Nice Group, our clients tasked us with crafting a modern, wholesome, and unpretentious brand that conveys authenticity and quality through design for both their restaurant and line of sauces and condiments.
We liked the double meaning of Milu (米路), pronounced as [mee-loo]. In a literal sense it means “rice road” but it also sounds like the the Chinese words for 迷路, which means “getting lost." Because of our client’s different backgrounds and relationships to Chinese food, the brand we crafted is not bound by traditions, so to us the name worked on both levels.
We inspired ourselves deeply with traditional Chinese illustrations, but executed them with modern design practices. With this, our result is a brand that showcases fun, creative, whimsical illustrations and warm, bold, colors. The aesthetic is inspired by historic Hong Kong-style cafes and their cultural significance in serving affordable, Canto-Western food.