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MUJI’s Art Director Describes The Brand’s Clean Yet Intricate Design Principles
By Mikelle Leow, 14 Dec 2017
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Bare-bones, “brandless” Japanese company MUJI is like a gentle whisper—a world far removed from the haze of loud, flashy campaigns.
It’s perhaps because of this calm, organic nature that the now-international name is so successful—overworking your dough tends to make the end product hard to swallow.
Despite its demure appearance, MUJI’s art director Kenya Hara tells Dezeen that pulling off the concept is not as straightforward as it might seem.
“MUJI itself is a special existence, and it is like spinning circus plates—you have to keep moving the sticks in order for the plates to spin,” Hara describes.
“I’m [less] interested in the popularity of the products… What’s unique about MUJI is people don’t go there with a specific item in mind. I don’t think that there are many other brands like that.”
Read some snippets of Dezeen’s interview with Hara below.
“Emptiness is the concept I use to explain MUJI’s philosophy to the world,” Hara explains.
“MUJI’s products look very minimal… A lot of people think that MUJI’s products are very simple, cutting out the heavy decoration and the flamboyant things.”
“But minimalism and simplicity are not MUJI’s only features. MUJI is always changing and MUJI is a huge question… MUJI is not a trend.”
Designing for MUJI
“We often talk about if MUJI created a new hotel, what kind of hotel would MUJI create? …MUJI is kind of a counter to both the cheapest hotel [and] the most expensive hotel. And if MUJI landed a baseball team, what kind would we get? And if MUJI was an airline, what kind of service would we provide? If MUJI was a tourism company, what kind of service would we create?”
By envisioning such scenarios, Hara says that MUJI will continually stay ahead and be more prepared for future situations.
“I don’t do anything special for MUJI. I don’t think up extravagant advertising messages, but I will think about package design. MUJI’s package design is very normal, but it is very difficult to control.”
Read the full interview on Dezeen.
[via Dezeen, cover image via Wikimedia Commons]
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