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Design Classics: Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle

Stu character


Posted by Stu

This is the very first post in a series of Boo&Stu's Design Classics. We'll be taking a whistle-stop tour through some of our favourites from the worlds of graphic design, product design, architecture, popular culture and art.


Inspired by a trip to our favourite Japanese restaurant to celebrate our new website launch, we thought we'd kick off the series by talking about a design classic that's on the table in pretty much every sushi restaurant you've ever been to and is probably sitting at the back of your cupboard right now - the Kikkoman Soy Sauce Dispenser!

Kikkoman soy sauce bottle image

about stu

Stu Jones is Boo&Stu's Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Born in the New Forest and now living in Dorset, Stu graduated from Wimbledon School of Art in 2000 with a degree in Fine Art: Painting. He developed a love for illustration and creating characters, and became a Freelance Designer in 2004 and in 2015 officially combined forces with his Web Designer partner Anna to form Boo&Stu. His work has been featured in magazines and the Victoria and Albert Museum London, and in 2016 Stu launched his first illustrated children's book.


Designed in 1961 by Kenji Ekuan for GK Design Group, the iconic shape of the Kikkoman Soy Sauce Dispenser is beautifully curved and is complimented with clear, strong brand logo and product details printed in a single muted yellow. The bottle is topped by a perfectly shaped red pourer cap that enables a surprisingly precise dispensing of soy sauce; if you're at home with clean hands try covering one hole whilst pouring for maximum control, it works brilliantly.


While the bottle’s simplicity and elegance make it a fantastically eye-catching and practical object it's also eco-friendly too

The bottle is designed to be washed, refilled and re-used over and over again so helping to save the planet whilst saving you money.


Kenji Ekuan believed that 'design is a source of life enhancement' and at Boo&Stu we'd definitely agree with him. If you think so too, do what we do; don't stick your Kikkoman Soy Sauce Dispenser in the cupboard, put it out on display for everyone to admire. An example is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) so you'll be in very good company.


If you haven't got one, what are you waiting for? Pop down to your local shop and get one for a few pounds so you can have a design classic in your home too!


About the Designer: Kenji Ekuan

Japanese industrial designer Kenji Ekuan was a former monk who was inspired to become a 'creator of things' after witnessing the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, where he lost his father and sister. He founded a design studio in 1957 and as well as the classic Kikkoman Soy Sauce Dispenser he also designed the famous E3 Series Shinkansen Japanese bullet train. He sadly died aged 85 in early 2015.

some of our related projects:

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The Gilded Teapot

Branding / Responsive Web for Charity for Young People with Disabilities

Branding / Responsive Web / Print for Charity Resource

Responsive Ecommerce Website for Ethical Tea Specialists in Dorset


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