Category — Graphic Design
A Tokyo-based illustrator, who goes by the moniker Hama-House, has created a series of charmingly comical Gifs. As a cat-owner myself the ones featuring our furry feline friends are my favorites. They were created for an animated gif contest hosted by our friends at Loftwork (previously). The international competition is accepting entries through the end of this month. The only real criteria is that they should loop and be less than 3 seconds.
You can keep up with all of Hama House’s new work over on his blog.
source: design made in Japan
February 12, 2014 No Comments
Don’t speak cat? Not a problem. Now you can write in cat. Well, sort of.
Nekofont is a Japanese website that lets you write words in a typeface made entirely of cats. Unfortunately, special characters like the “&” are a bit too contorted, even for cats.
Nekofont is made from 2 cats – Raizo and Mondo - who were picked up off the street when they were kittens. Their cat-loving owner started photographing them after realizing that some of their ridiculous sleeping positions actually resembled letters. Their owner set up a simple website that became so popular, it was turned into a book late last year (available on Amazon JP).
source: lostateminor (thx Masako!)
January 24, 2014 Comments Off
Every year around this time we share with you a selection of Japanese designer Holiday/New Year’s cards (all previous years). Here is the 2014 edition, which should also serve as a reminder that this year is the year of the horse. Happy New Year!
This first card is from Tatsuo Horiuchi, the Excel spreadsheet artist. And yes, this card was created entirely in Microsoft Excel.
A cute illustrated card from Nagoya-based graphic design firm creun, inc.
Each year Tomoko Azumi of TNA Design Studio uses her prized stamp collection to compose a card.
Visual artist Tabaimo came up with a rather morbid New Years greeting. The bones and hear spell out the characters for 2014.
Botanic artist Makoto Azuma put together a floral arrangement that resembles a horse.
A horse-themed card from Spoon & Tamago friend and illustrator Naho Ogawa.
This one is from Japanese Techno-pop group Denki Groove.
Creative Director Kenjiro Sano used a mathematical formula based on the numbers 2014, to create an image of a horse.
Creative Director Keisuke Unosawa opted for the cowboy/cowgirl motif.
Also not a New Year’s card, but Hiroshima-based Hyphen Design created a gorgeously minimal 2014 calendar as a greeting. It’s easy to use and free for anyone to download and print. Grab yours HERE (PDF).
A colorful greeting card from felt sculptor Hine Mizushima.
January 7, 2014 1 Comment
Here is a picture of Tokyo’s complex underground metro system. And here is another perspective. As you can see, it’s arguably one of the most complex in the world. Even seasoned straphangers need the occasional cheat sheet to get them through a full day of business meetings all around Tokyo.
Enter the Tokyo Metro Map Necktie, a seemingly simple print but with the metro map printed on the inside. It’s manufactured by ARA, a Tokyo-based maker of men’s ties and comes in a Tokyo and Osaka version. Never get lost again!
January 3, 2014 1 Comment
When you’re going to create an embroidery you usually do it of something special, like your pet, your favorite car or pretty flowers. And then there’s this: embroideries of middle-age Japanese moms engaged in incredibly dull activities. And there’s something oddly amusing about the absurdity of it all.
Created by freelance designer Junichi Chiba, the embroidered brooches feature typical Japanese housewives doing things like watering the patio, sweeping the floor, dancing, eating rice crackers and airing out the family futon.
December 30, 2013 3 Comments
The graphic designer Masaaki Hiromura (previously) has installed what is perhaps the most analog, digital clock ever. It’s comprised of an ever-repeating video loop featuring 3 books, each representing the hours, minutes and seconds of a single day. A hand neurotically and relentlessly flips through the pages as if to remind us that time never stops moving.
It’s currently on view at MUJI in Shibuya, which just underwent a major renovation and reopened at the beginning of this month.
December 15, 2013 Comments Off
These Japanese fonts won’t be found in textbooks or typography journals. You have to go looking for them on the streets of Japan: your local barber, an old florist, or an outdated toy shop. Finding beauty in these unsophisticated yet nostalgically charming fonts, 3 friends set out on a hunt to capture, fontify, and give something back to the community.
Obtaining permission from the store owners (many of whom have no graphic design background but were heavily involved in the creation of their unique fonts), Rintaro Shimohama, Naoki Nishimura and Shinya Wakaoka recreated the fonts and have made them available for download. The resulting project was titled Noramoji, a combination of the words nora (meaning stray) and moji (text).
All proceeds from the Noramoji project are given back to the store owners.
December 2, 2013 3 Comments
Preliminary results from the 2013 Good Design Awards were announced last week. I’ve stated how I feel about the awards (spoiler: they’re overly dispensed) many times in the past so I won’t bother you with that. Instead, I’m going to dive right in showcasing some of my favorites.
Ehime Prefecture is one of the largest producers of mikans in the country. Just 2nd to Wakayama, the Southern prefecture supplies Japan with roughly 20% of all their succulent supply. Their prefecture flower is that of the mikan and they even have their own state-funded mikan laboratory. But there’s a problem – the average age of mikan farmers are now over 65, meaning that they are a dying breed.
To appeal to a younger generation of consumers, but also potential producers, a local company unveiled a major overhaul of their visual identity. A collaboration between Upsetters Architects and Artless, the modern, simple and elegant new look was applied to their product linup, 10 Mikan, but also to their shop in Ehime.
this post is part of our review of the 2013 Good Design Awards. Click here to view the full series.
October 14, 2013 1 Comment
A single pine tree became a symbol of hope after the March 11th tsunami wiped away 70,000 pine trees in its path. The 88ft tall “miracle pine” survived for nearly 18 months before its roots died from high levels of saline. However, donations from across the country and world raised enough funds for experts to preserve the tree by inserting a metal skeleton into its trunk and adding replica branches.
Now the pine tree is being immortalized in a different way. Brooklyn-based designer Kota Kobayashi created a minimal yet elegant packaging design for Ipponmatsu Beer. “This beer’s design represents charity and hope, says Kobayashi. “A scroll-like, handwritten label seals the top with the story of Ippon Matsu written on the inside. The front label is a solitary pine made of three triangles that are facing up, symbolizing the wish for progress towards Japan’s brighter future.” Ipponmatsu means one pine tree.
The beer, which comes in 2 flavors, is all hand-brewn by Kobayashi and his friends. They are donating all profits to the recovery effort in ravaged Rikuzentakata. For now the beer has yet to make its way into shelves but Kobayashi is currently looking for a brewery to help expand his charity brew.
September 16, 2013 Comments Off
Australia based designers Saori Kajiwara and Matt Innes have been collaborating together on a series of furniture inspired by Japanese and English typography. From the far east the collection aptly features the character 香 (kaori; scent) as an incense holder, while the characters 東西 (tozai; east and west) work as standalone tables. “The concept for this project is to explore the idea of Japanese typographic forms as furniture,” they say.
Meanwhile, their western counterparts include Table for Two (Ampersand Table)and is “an homage to the beautiful 1970s type designs of Herb Lubalin.”
Saori Kajiwara is from Shizuoka Japan. She studied art and design in Tokyo before traveling to Melbourne, Australia, where she
completed a degree in communication design at Swinburne University of Technology. Matt Innes is an Australian native obsessed by simple bicycles and Japanese motorbikes & scooters. The two are currently establishing a design office together.
Source: The Fox Is Black
September 10, 2013 Comments Off