Clever Solution to Growing Decline

Umino Hiroyuki is carrying on the legacy his grandfather started when he founded Umino Seaweed Shop. Under his leadership, Umino Seaweed Shop has come up with a unique way of trying to entice eaters to increase their consumption of seaweed (nori) in Japan—which has been declining in recent years—largely in part due to the fallout from the tsunami of 2011.

Umino Hiroyuki sought out help from the international advertising agency I&S BBDO to develop a series of intricately laser-cut seaweed for rolling sushi.

Each sheet of the “design nori” series has five designs and is based on Japanese history or symbolism, and represents happiness, good fortune, and longevity. The designs are: Sakura (Cherry Blossoms), Mizutama (Water Drops), Asanoha (Hemp), Kikkou (Turtle Seashell), and Kumikkou (Tortoise Shell).

5 designs

Because the designs require precision cuts, Umino selected a thicker variety of seaweed from the Sanriku region of Miyagi.

The elegance of the sushi sheets were very eye catching to me, especially since I’ve been following the cool things the 3D printers are making out of food.   To boot, I pay attention to design details, and this is really a beautiful display of that.

Here are a few close-up images of the designer nori. 

‘sakura’ (‘cherry blossoms’)

‘sakura’ (‘cherry blossoms’)

‘asanoha’ (‘hemp’

‘asanoha’ (‘hemp’)

Kikkou’ (‘turtle shell’)

‘kikkou’ (‘turtle shell’)

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