Tokyo Blog, Tokyo Story

The blog of Stephen David Smith, Tokyo, Japan 2017

Now Viewing: All Posts in Art & Design


And Now For Something Completely Different…

Displayground

There’s a new creative agency in the UK called Displayground, an exceptionally talented group of designers, producers and creatives. I produced the Flash component of their new site, which involved incorporating some of the company’s ambitious ideas. You’ve got a mix of traditional stop-time animation, clay models, motion graphics, and vector shapes coming together to create a really original site. Design and photography credits go to the boys in the studio under creative director Mat Glover. The free-roaming orbs took a while to program and no mistake.

 

UT Harajuku

UT Harajuku

Uniqlo’s ever popular T-shirt project UT has been going for a while now, but as a recent addition to their plethora of usual outlets, they’ve added this dedicated UT store in Harajuku. It was opened last April, but this is the first time I’ve been there. With temperatures the way they are at the moment I wasn’t planning on buying any T-shirts, I just wanted to check out the store itself. The shop consists of a few racks of T’s and other items, surrounded by a wall of vending machines, above which you have the ticker-tape displays with lines of text making laps of the room as you shop. The vending machines contain the bulk of the T-shirt stock. You choose the one you want, and then out pops the T in the trademark tube-like plastic packaging. I get the feeling they will need an iron once you get the back to your house though. Generally I like the store, so I’ll be back in the spring to pick up some from the manga series.

 

Nani? Bird

Nani? Bird

I’ve been building these paper birds recently. Thought I’d share the link. The idea was thought up by Tokyo-based illustrator and designer, Josh McKible. The idea is that other designers and artists are invited to design onto the nani? bird template, the results of which are then distributed via the website for you to cut, fold and glue for free. Why not decorate your workspace/bedroom/dojo with a few?!

 

Colour Lovers

Colour Lovers

Something you designers might find useful is the Colour Lovers site, full of colour schemes and patterns. I use it a lot for inspiration, but the actual site is pretty well formed in itself. The pattern you can see in the picture is Subtraction by annajak.

 

Mii Business Cards

Mii Business Cards

I love these business cards offered by Nintendo here in japan. You get your Mii printed alongside your personal details including your friend code, and a 1UP mushroom, from looking at the picture! This service is offered as part of Nintendo’s new Digital Camera Print Channel bought about through a collaboration with Fujifilm.

If this is another thing that gets you down because it’s only available in Japan, don’t worry! Although it hasn’t been officially announced, the service should be coming to the United States and Europe sometime very soon. Look out for it on a Wii near you.

 

Scion x Shin Tanaka

Scion x Shin Tanaka

The cool Japanese car manufacturer Scion has teamed-up with Giant Robot and Japanese paper artist Shin Tanaka to create these awesome paper models. If you can grab yourself a copy of Giant Robot magazine, you can make one of your own with scissors / scalpel and glue. I’m on the hunt for one!

If any fellow Tokyoites know where we can grab a copy of Giant Robot magazine, let everybody know in the comments thread!

 

Japanese Retro Game Font Fun

Japanese Retro Game Font Fun

Here’s a link to a Japanese site offering a wide selection of retro game-related fonts, mostly bitmap fonts. As you can see, they have the classic Capcom typefaces! I can never find anything to do with these fonts once I’ve downloaded them, but I’m not going to let that discourage me. I’ll install them anyway!

 

R.I.P. Tony Hart

R.I.P. Tony Hart

People reading this blog from America, or from anywhere other than the United Kingdom in fact, will probably not know who this guy is. When I was a kid I used to watch this guy on TV every week. He had an art programme which had a major influence on me at that age. He would show you how to draw and paint, and his female co-presenter would do craft pieces. He inspired millions of British kids to get into art and design, including me. Sadly, he died in the early hours of Sunday 18th January aged 83. But that’s a pretty good innings I reckon.

 

Adidas Consortium Spring 2009

Adidas Consortium Spring 2009

OMG. Look at what Adidas are introducing for their spring 2009 consortium collection. A big difference from their usual approach to colourways: lots of stripes and bright colours adorning their classic models. In my opinion, these are way better than previous collections so I’ll be looking out for them from March.

 

New T-shirts From The Wonderful! Design Works

New T-shirts From The Wonderful! Design Works

Personally, I like The Wonderful! Design Works – I own a couple of their T-shirts from previous collections. This lot and more besides are available in Beams-T and selected Beams stores now!

 

Onitsuka Tiger x Tokidoki

Onitsuka Tiger x Tokidoki

Tokidoki, the Italian Japanophile designer/illustrator, has collaborated with Asics Onitsuka Tiger to bring you these new sneakers. I’m sure you can find them here in Tokyo, but they’re going to be pricey.

Also, be sure to check out the piece of animation that appears on Onitsuka Tiger site.

 

Computer Arts Projects – Japanese Edition

Computer Arts Projects - Japanese Edition

I picked up this useful issue of computer arts magazine before boarding my flight back to Tokyo. The insights into Japanese graphic design style are slightly rudimentary, but it’s got some good techniques and inspirational material inside. Also, Shane Lester from W+K Tokyo gets a mention as do several other foreigners working in the metropolis right now.

 

100% Design Tokyo

100% Design Tokyo

100% Design Tokyo was my first visit to an event in Tokyo Design Week, and it was really cool. I’d read about it before I came, when I was still living and working in the UK, so I knew pretty much what it was about. Being there in person is different altogether, of course. I had a good time looking at the professional design pieces in one section, which contrasted with the quirky and more experimental pieces in the student and undergraduate showcases. There was also a bunch of interesting stuff in the container area (a collection of industrial containers you sometimes see on the backs of lorries or trucks with installations and exhibits inside). It’s held at Jingu-Gaien near the baseball ground in the Aoyama area. I’m afraid yesterday was the last day though.

 

Nagi Noda Died Last Sunday

Nagi Noda

Horrible news about Nagi Noda, I’m afraid. The renowned artist and director, only in her mid-30’s, passed away this past Sunday from complications arising from surgery she had following a serious car accident that she was involved in last year. Her surreal approach to direction attracted clients such as Nike and Coca-Cola, but she also made promos for artists like The Scissor Sisters, Japanese singer Yuki, and Hikaru Utada. I personally liked her Hanpanda creation best of all. She’ll be missed.

News via Boing Boing, Tokyo Mango, and all over the web today and yesterday.

 

Bape Bugatti Veyron

Bape Bugatti Veyron

This is horrible, but just check out Nigo’s pink Bugatti Veyron (Nigo is the head-honcho at Japanese clothing label, Bape). Worst custom paint job ever! (Actually, or should we say thankfully, the car has not been repainted, but just covered in a vinyl wrap – phew.)