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APartMENT by UMA, Japan

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Wordmark, signage and facade by UMA for property development APartMENT in the new creative hub of Osaka's Kitakagaya area

APartMENT is a residential property development in Kitakagaya, a former industrial area of Osaka, Japan. It is part of the Kitakagaya Creative Village Project, an initiative to turn an area, left unused since 1988 following the withdrawal of Namura Shipbuilding Co., into a creative hub. With recent investment many of the warehouses and sprawling factory buildings have been turned into creative spaces and facilities to attract artists, architects and arts organizations.

Working in collaboration with 8 artists, APartMENT is an effort to renovate worker’s housing of Kitakagaya’s industrial past for these new creative inhabitants. This development goes beyond architecture, also encompassing contemporary art, product design and lighting, new technology, interior design and landscaping. APartMENT is made up of three floors, has 18 apartments and a “tool box project” / workshop that allows residents to “edit” their space. It also features a brand identity by local studio UMA. This included naming, wordmark, signage and facade design.

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Tokyo Bousai by Nosigner, Japan

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Graphic design by Japanese studio Nosigner for Tokyo Bosai, a disaster preparedness pack

Tokyo Bousai is a disaster preparedness pack compiled by The Tokyo Metropolitan Government that outlines the steps to take in preparation for and in response to an earthquake or other major disaster in Tokyo and the surrounding area. The pack was sent out to over 7.5 million households and was designed by Nosigner working in collaboration with Dentsu Inc. It features maps, stickers and leaflet, and a manual that mixes impactful colour and type with detailed illustration, manga, rhino character and flipbook animation.

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Organic Fertilizer of Awaji Island by UMA, Japan

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging for 島の土 / Organic Fertilizer of Awaji Island designed by UMA

島の土 / Island of Soil is an organic fertiliser created to help develop good quality soil and draw out and compliment the natural power of the land. The range is made using livestock feces and processed vegetable scraps from animals raised and produce grown on the Japanese island of Awaji. It comes in two varieties, a poultry manure and sawdust mix, and a rapeseed oil cake and powder mix, both packed in two sizes, a large 15kg bag and smaller 500g bag. These will be sold through large agricultural retailers as well as small gardening shops.

Island of Soil’s packaging was recently developed by Osaka based design studio UMA. It features an unbleached card interior and a bleached and printed paper exterior, closed with a copper split pin and featuring a bold typographic and iconographic approach to communication.

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Karuizawa 1984 by The Metric System, Norway

Opinion by Richard Baird.

Packaging for Karuizawa 1984 designed by The Metric System

Karuizawa 1984 is a vintage Japanese single malt and single cask whisky imported and bottled exclusively for the Norwegian market. The first batch, a run of 577 bottles, sold out immediately, with the second due to go out later this month. Karuizawa’s packaging, developed by Scandinavian graphic design studio Metric Design, effectively conveys the age and provenance of the whisky, is sensitive to the Western market, and aware of and largely disregards category conventions, through the juxtaposition of a simple box design and iconic imagery, alongside an information rich and typographically dense label treatment.

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