The Chinese restaurant Chinah inspires Americans to eat more traditional Chinese food while simultaneously moving away from cliche packaging design. Base Design created a packaging system that fuses a chubby typeface with lucky red hues that feels synchronically Chinese and American.


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Chinah is introducing Americans to more traditional Chinese cuisine, with meals based on family recipes made using healthy and authentic ingredients. Breaking away from stereotypical take-out required a fun and flavorful identity inspired by the freshness of the food.

Hegel Hei, who serendipitously met Base during an event at our NYC studio, had a vision to flip the American perception of Chinese food on its head. He founded Chinah to serve authentic home cooking in a fast-casual manner, using his traditional family recipes and fresh ingredients to create dishes that are true to the culture, as well as healthy and delicious. The challenge was to develop a brand that felt both Chinese and American, breaking the stereotype while remaining respectful to other establishments.

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Cleverly, “Chinah” is both an adaptation of the country’s name, and a translation of “eat where” in Mandarin. It’s presented in a plump bespoke typeface that was influenced by the food, and can be written on a single line or stacked vertically over two. Playful phrases like “Daily Yum” and “Tastes Like Home” also adorn packaging and digital assets, along with the color red—a symbol of luck, joy and happiness in Chinese culture—chosen in a brighter vermillion tone than restaurants typically use.

The art direction centered on showing the freshness of ingredients and demonstrating Chinah’s home-style preparation techniques. Similarly, the tone of voice is friendly, welcoming, and helps customers feel like part of the family around the dinner table.

Chinah now has multiple locations in the tri-state area and grand plans for regional expansion. With support from the local Chinese community and customers from every background imaginable, the brand is quickly gaining fans who fully appreciate eating Everyday Tasty Chinese food, prepared grandma’s way.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph