Design Bridge London


HK YAU was originally launched in 2017. The original branding felt a little generic and inauthentic, and it failed to emotionally connect with local Hong Kong consumers and expats alike. Our brief was to create a cut-through design with deep local connection to reverse the brand’s fortunes.

This daring brand refresh hinges on our creative idea of Yauism, which cleverly draws on unique colloquialisms within Hong Kong’s Cantonese dialect.

If you’re not Hong Kong born and bred, you’re going to need a quick Yau 101. Hong Kongers are a proud bunch, and particularly proud of their unique Cantonese dialect. Yau means ‘friend’ in Cantonese. But it can also mean so much more. In the local streetwise vernacular Yau gets twisted into wickedly cryptic descriptions of Hong Kong’s quirkiest and most endearing character traits. We call these Yauisms. Let’s meet a few Yaus…

Bo-Yau, is the Ball-Game-Yau. The kind of friend you watch the football with and might just end up in bed with after the match. A Yau with benefits.

Fat-Siu-Yau, is the Amplifier-Fever-Yau. The kind of friend who is so intensely obsessive that they are constantly working themselves up into a fever. Like an overheating retro glass-tube amplifier.

Chu-Pang-Gau-Yau, is the Pig-Dog-Yau. The kind of friend who takes eating and drinking to entirely new hedonistic heights. Gluttony on perpetual repeat.

Each Yauism has been brought to life in a collaboration with local illustration trio Brainrental, renowned for their tongue-in-cheek depictions of the absurdities of modern metropolitan life in Hong Kong, adding another layer of local relevance to the designs. This is set against a new colour palette of piercing magenta, ultramarine and cerulean blue to further re-energise the brand and ensure it really pings at shelf and on the bar.

The result is a brand that excites locals while appealing to curious expats and tourists eager to explore the local beer culture in the bars of Mongkok, the laneways of Lan Kwai Fong and beyond.


  • YAUClient
Annual 2020 ShortlistPart Beer. Part Cult. Welcome to Yauism.Branding Contributor:

Design Bridge has been a Contributor since 25th November 2015.

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Part Beer. Part Cult. Welcome to Yauism.