Articles

Using Japanese Typography in Design

Using Japanese Typography in Design

The Value of Well-designed Content

One of the most important elements of design is the way its proposed to your customers. Whether that be with graphics or written copy, it’s important that your message is delivered. In your own native language, this may be quite difficult. In a foreign language (such as Japanese), this is nearly impossible.

This article will guide you through some tips about using Japanese text in your marketing and designs. We’ll highlight some important points about typography, formatting text, and creating a pleasing composition with your copy.

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Japanese Design Aesthetic: Wabi-Sabi

Japanese Design Aesthetic: Wabi-Sabi

photo credit: 2D2f on deviantart

Japan has an extensive artistic history. Through isolationism, its buddhist history through China, and its own religion Shintoism, the aesthetic qualities and elements of Japanese art have flourished and evolved in an entirely unique way.

These aesthetics have been practiced and developed through the many different art forms here in Japan: ikebana, pottery, woodblock printing and architecture, to name a few.

In this article, we’ll look not at the individual art mediums as described above, but one artistic “emotion” that’s been alive in Japan for centuries. Behold, an overly simplistic introduction to the concept of…

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Packaging Design for the Japanese New Year

Packaging Design for the Japanese New Year

What’s New Years in Japan?

New Years in Japan isn’t like it is in a lot of western countries. The Japanese celebrate New Years with family, a trip to the shrine and with select foods called osechi. Packaging design also gets a taste of New Years and that’s what this article is all about.

How do Japanese food manufacturers utilize the New Years festivities in packaging design?

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Shocking & Politically-incorrect Japanese Products

Shocking & Politically-incorrect Japanese Products

Lost in Translation

Sometimes, things just don’t work in other languages/countries.

In Japan, if you say “otsukare-sama desu” to a loved one, it has positive connotations. However, if you say that same thing, translated to English, it would come out as something odd like: “Oh, you’re tired!” Who knows, you could end up getting slapped for implying that someone looks terrible—instead of politely acknowledging that the person worked hard that day and deserves a rest.

This article aims to present a few of those, “don’t try this at home” products. These items, in one way or another, just would not work overseas in an English-speaking country. None of them are too heavily frowned upon here in Japan but could warrant the aforementioned slap if applied in a foreign environment.

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How Disney Does Design in Japan

How Disney Does Design in Japan

What’s the value in this article?

This article will attempt to show you the perfect merging of Japanese culture and American entertainment. I recently made a mid-winter (not recommended) trip to DisneySea in Tokyo. I thought it was going to be just a full-out American style place but was pleasantly surprised to see that they had actually incorporated some Japanese culture into their products.

Here-on, I’ll show you some of those things and who knows, maybe you’ll get a bit of a culture lesson all the while.

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