Category — Graphic Design
My friend and illustrator Naho Ogawa is releasing her first children’s book. Actually, she’s releasing not one, not two, but three, all at once. I’m not sure how she found the time in-between the never-ending requests for editorial illustrations, but it’s happening – on June 5th. The series follows 2 girls, Mimi and Nana, into their imaginative wonderland.
And yes, the books are sure to be as adorable is this little gif that Naho created!
May 16, 2013 1 Comment
Art director and graphic designer Koji Iyama has been staging installations across Japan to promote the multifunctional uses of mt-masking tape. His latest installation arrived in Sendai, almost 2 years after it was ravaged by the devastating tsunami.
Staged within an old warehouse, and utilizing its high ceilings, Iyama hung hundreds of rolls of masking tape from the ceiling, delineating space and affecting the flow of people. He then proceeded to cover the entire floor with masking tape as well, including all objects in his way, like bicycles.
May 10, 2013 5 Comments
Creative Director and graphic designer extraordinaire Kenjiro Sano returns to his alma mater to create a stunning series of ads for Tama Art University (colloquially, Tamabi). “Made by Hands” are a collective series of close to 40 different prints that have been running in various magazines.
Each is done strictly in black & white and feature a hand in some form of activity, whether it’s shredding or pushing over dominos, that effects and distorts the name of the school. They’re eye-catching but also embody the type of creative, boundary-pushing thinking that art schools like to project. But then again, I would only expect this level of work from a man who puts a tunnel slide in his office.
May 9, 2013 1 Comment
When I think of funeral homes I think of muted colors like blacks, whites and greys. And indeed, funerals in Japan are largely a black & white affair, with any deviation from the code being considered taboo and disrespectful. So when Tokyo-based ad agency I&S BBDO was approached by Nishinihon Tenrei to create an unconventional ad for funeral services, it understandably posed several challenges.
“The March 11th earthquake and tsunami had a traumatic effect on Japan. Issues of life and death, hope and despair, beauty and tragedy became an all too real part of people’s everyday lives,” says the agency, reflecting on how to communicate the funeral home’s new role of remembering and celebrating the beauty of a lost person’s life.
Creative director Mari Nishimura decided to create a real-size human skeleton made from pressed flowers. The striking image is both beautiful, as well as celebratory, expressing through flowers what remains after death.
Source: The One Club awards
May 8, 2013 8 Comments
Toshiyuki Fukada is a Tokyo-based illustrator that creates quirky, magical prints usually featuring animal motifs. Much like the boxed assemblages of Joseph Cornell, Fukuda creates miniature worlds with a command of color and detail. There is also something inherently childish in the quality of the illustrations, which makes my heart ache with cosmic nostalgia.
Plus, Fukuda gets extra brownie points for being based in Kichijoji, my home town! (brownie points retracted! He now works in Ogikubo.)
Toshiyuki Fukada is having a solo exhibition at hb gallery in Omotesando. “Repeat” opens May 17, 2013 and runs till the 22nd.
a print that was done for a daily planner
Left: a set of stickers | Right: candle box wrapping paper
May 7, 2013 Comments Off
These intriguing specimens were created by a 25-year old graphic design student who goes simply by the name, guusan. Uploaded to Japanese portfolio site loftwork earlier this month, the Japanese butterfly specimens are created from letters that belong to different type sets like Helvetica, Futura and Time New Roman. “I imagined different fonts as butterflies and then created a specimen book based on that,” said the designer in a statement.
April 16, 2013 Comments Off
image courtesy @shizushin_news | click to enlarge
Tangerines, satsuma oranges, mandarin oranges, cuties – it seems everyone has their own name for it. And in Japan, the Mikan – everyone’s favorite fruit – is everywhere. So when a local newspaper in Shizuoka decided to run their own ad, they teamed up with Mikabi Mikan, a well-known local producer of the fruit, to take advantage of the concept of being “everywhere.”
Without relying on digital manipulation they meticulously peeled and dissected several mikans, using everything from the skin, pulp and juice to recreate an entire front page newspaper. Stunning!
image courtesy explanning | click to enlarge
Here are a few making-of shots, courtesy of @naramagic, who was part of the production team.
March 2, 2013 Comments Off
images courtesy tipitin | click to enlarge
Photographer Takashi Homma’s latest book is called “Mushrooms from the Forest.” But this is no mycological publication. Better known for his urban streetscapes, Homma became interested in photographing mushrooms after he learned that they absorb radiation and thrive in nuclear contaminated areas. Six months after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, Homma ventured into a local forest, Geiger counter in hand, and set up a portable mini-studio. There in the forest he photographed about 100 fresh specimens (they quickly decay after picking). The images were handed off to graphic designer Tanaka Yoshihisa, who compiled them into a gorgeous photobook.
The photos of irradiated mushrooms create a vaguely familiar dialogue recognizable to fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s tour de force Nausicaä. The forest is a source of life – generating the air we breathe and helping to maintain a sustainable supply of clean water. But at the hands of blind greed and misguided technology it can quickly transform into a high-radiation jungle deathtrap.
January 14, 2013 1 Comment
2012 marked the 20th anniversary of Issey Miyake’s futuristic Pleats Please line: his collection of tightly pleated polyester dresses, tank tops, pants and scarves. Oh, and did I mention they were pleated?
To commemorate the success of the line, creative mastermind Taku Satoh (previously) created monthly ad campaigns that likened the fabric to scrumptious-looking food like whipped cream, wine and nutella. “I wanted to create a visceral reaction; something akin to ‘that looks delicious’ and ‘I want to wear that,’ said Sato, comparing our desire for food to that of fashion.
January 11, 2013 Comments Off
It’s become a tradition of some sort. Each year we share with you a selection of Japanese designer Holiday/New Year’s cards. Here is the 2013 edition. (keep in mind, 2013 is the year of the snake!)
An awesome snake-like paper clip card from graphic designer Kenjiro Sano.
A slightly risque card from illustrator TNSK.
BCXSY sent us this New Year’s sunrise from Tonoaki Island in Okinawa. Yes, we are jealous.
Another creative “2013″ from design collective NAM.
A clever and humorous card from industrial designer Shunji Yamanaka.
Snake Oil, from Klein Dytham Architecture. How that suspicious liquid made it through border patrol? I’m not entirely certain.
A card from architect duo Studio_01.
From Makoto Tanijiri of Suppose Design Office.
A christmas card from Tatzu Nishi.
And as a bonus: this card from my friend and illustrator Aaron Stewart.
January 10, 2013 Comments Off