Many people should know that design plays an important role in pushing the development of economy and culture. Good design is the base of promising economic benefit, from improving the popularity of a single store or brand to influencing the economic development of a country or even the whole world. For example, the mascot "Kumamon" of Kumamoto Prefecture in Japan has gained global popularity. Data shows that in 2012, the revenues from food and other merchandise related to "Kumamon" reached a record of approximately 29.3 billion yen (*equal to 274 million dollar). And the economic ripple effect on Kumamoto Prefecture in two years from November 2011 to October 2013 was 124.4 billion yen (*equal to 1.16 billion dollar). Japan accounts for a very significant part in Asian economy. Its industry of anime and manga is one of the economic pillars of Japan. The total value of the industry and its derivative products once represented over 10% of the gross domestic product. It is often said that Japanese design is one of the focuses to promote Asian economy.
Japanese design distinguishes itself from the global design circle. The fresh and beautiful natural environment cultivates generations of designers and artists, so many distinctive designs and artworks continue to emerge. Diverse designs with the lovely style of anime and manga, the calm traditional Japanese style as well as the modern simple style can all be seen in daily life of Japan. Especially anime and manga, Japanese citizens grow fairly fond of them, and under the development of science technology, they even go abroad becoming popular around the world. People from more countries and regions can appreciate these excellent artworks and designs. Anime and manga even give birth to the kawaii culture spreading all over the world, which then generates the “kawaii economy”. Moreover, the designs of Japanese style are fully traditional and lead people to know Japanese history. The combination of ancient beauties as well as warriors and modern brands make Japanese style develops more broadly. Different from Japanese style, simple design meaning “less is more” shows Japanese people’s attitude toward life. All of these creative ideas and designs not only show requirements and aims of design but also symbolize Japanese people’s aesthetic pursuit of life.
This issue of BranD digs deep into Japanese design field, exploring Japanese creative ideas. Through 67 creative works in brands, posters, anime, manga and the like, inviting you focus on the colorful culture life and design concepts in this small country!
Hit points in this Issue:
1. Cover from Astro Boy with its 67th serialization anniversary. Once again, the heroes that move us and warm our soul appear.
2. Dialogue with director of the popular anime Mob Psycho 100, Yuzuru Tachikawa, knowing the anecdotes during the anime production.
3. Dialogue with master of Japanese graphic design Kazumasa Nagai, sharing his insights on life and works in different ages.
4. Dialogue with director of famous good design company in Japan, father of Kumamon, Manabu Mizuno who shares tips to make brands last long.
5. Working experience and brand history from Japanese niche design studio KIGI and famous fashion designer Akira Minagawa.