Kinomi is the brainchild of Japanese-American entrepreneur Hiromi Stone, a brilliant Japanese chef with a knack for creating complex spice blends. She wanted to infuse her brand with her playful personality and a nod to her Japanese heritage, without playing on lazy Orientalist stereotypes.
Starting with Japanese language, we came upon the idea of using Japanese ideophones, the group bank of “sound” words collectively known as giseigo, as the basis for brand product naming. Due to their simple vowel sounds and repetitive nature, they’re easy for English speakers to pronounce and remember. From there, we also leveraged the concept of kodawari, the Japanese term for the mindful pursuit of perfection through craftsmanship, to express the values of her brand.