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MEGUMI KOYAMA MA Innovation Management University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins


ABOUT

IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

MISCELLANEOUS

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165 Posters

Design Festa vol.42

Visual identities produced for Asia’s largest art event

Created between 2010 - 2015

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168 Logo + Typography

GAKUTEN

Designing/event planning for an all-student art event

Various logo + typography designs

170 Sketches + Drawings GRAPHIC DESIGN 69

The Manton Avenue Project

Reimagining identity for children’s theatre organization

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Homes

Handmade book exploring my cultural identity

111 Design Festa Gallery Harajuku Main visuals for two animal-themed exhibitions

PHOTOGRAPHY 125 Chasing Lines Collections of Tokyo’s unique textures & shapes

135 Latka Portraitures capturing vibrant city life of Tokyo

LOGO + TYPE DESIGN 149 Piazza Experimental typography inspired by the city of Siena

161 liberal art[ist]s education Logo design for senior thesis exhibition

Various sketches and drawings

WRITING SAMPLE 176 Communication and Culture Contesting Conventional Interpretations of Advertisements


A Tokyo-born, Sydney-raised, Boston-educated, "third culture kid," Megumi Koyama is a designer aspiring to apply creativity in various fields of expertise to solve problems, encourage innovation and help grow new opportunities.


koyamamegu@gmail.com (+81) 90-6005-4607

7-8-12 Hinominami Konanku Yokohama, JAPAN 234-0055

Work Experience

Education

Design Festa Ltd. Graphic Designer Tokyo, Japan | October 2013 - Present Designed visual identities and print materials for Asia’s largest art event, Design Festa, All Student Art Festival, GAKUTEN, and Design Festa Gallery Harajuku.

Siena Art Institute Siena, Italy | Summer 2013 Two-week intensive course in Typeface Design

Freelance Graphic Designer Boston, MA | June 2012- August 2013 Designed posters, invitation cards, front-end web and mobile application designs. Clients include: The Manton Avenue Project, Entrepreneurial Finance Lab, and Clark University Higgins School of Humanities. Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Graphic Design Intern Allston, MA, U.S.A | June - July 2012 Improved the external image of an innovative social enterprise startup from the Harvard Business School. Made PowerPoint templates, front-end web and mobile application designs and information packages.

Clark University Worcester, MA, U.S.A | 2008 - 2012 BA Honors in Studio Art (Graphic Design), Highest Honors in Communication and Culture Summa Cum Laude Cumulative GPA: 3.86 Yokohama International School Yokohama, Japan | 2002 - 2008 International Baccalaureate Diploma Cumulative GPA: 3.5

Skills Languages Native level English & Japanese

Worcester Art Museum Marketing and Graphic Design Intern Worcester, MA, U.S.A | June - August 2011 Designed exhibition guides, posters, signage and invitation cards.

Computers Adobe Creative Suite CC: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, basic Flash. QuarkXpress, HTML and CSS. Microsoft Office, iWork. Working knowledge of PC and Mac platforms.

Activities

Photography B&W Darkroom process, Film & Digital SLR and lens awareness.

STIR Magazine Photographer & Layout Assistant Worcester, MA, U.S.A | Fall 2010 - Spring 2012 Brainstormed article ideas and took photographs for Clark University’s culture, life & style magazine. Assisted the editor with the layout designs and print production. Asian / Muslim Cultural Society Co-publicity Chair Worcester, MA, U.S.A | Fall 2009 - Spring 2011 Designed posters, flyers, and banners to inform students with a positive and realistic depiction of Asian and Muslim cultures.

Awards Communication & Culture Outstanding Academic Achievement Award Clark University, Worcester, MA, U.S.A | Spring 2012 ARTSWorcester Worcester, MA, U.S.A | Feb 2011 Shortlisted for Seventh Annual Colleges of Worcester Consortium Art Exhibition

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Design Festa vol.42 graphic design, branding, print design


IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Documentation of the identity designs created for Asia's largest international art event, Design Festa vol.42. Overview Design Festa is the largest international art event in Asia, serving as a biannual platform for over 12,000 artists and 60,000 visitors each year. Design Festa’s principle remains the same as it’s foundation in 1994: the only condition to participation is, the work must be original.

Introduction The principle of Design Festa identity is that there should be no identity. There is no official logo or logomark that defines us. The main visual changes radically each event. This principle reflects our company value - an art event for anybody and everybody - and therefore, the design must also be flexible and accommodating. As an in-house designer, my task is to design the entire identity and manage the branding at Design Festa that reflects our goals appropriate at that time. Having exprienced working with the team for over 2 years, this section covers my thought process and learnings from Design Festa vol.39 - vol.41 and overall development leading up to the branding of Design Festa vol.42.

Objectives To create a brand identity that speaks the volume of the 20-year run art festival that encompasses a wide varity of expressions - from paintings, sculptures, illustrations, photography, accessories, fashion, live paintings, music, dance performances - and visitors from worldwide. The design must convey the energy of the event - diverse, powerful, invigorating and unique - while keeping it simple and straightforwad to accommodate audience from a wide range of age groups. The target audience is anybody from Japan and overseas who are keen on original artworks and are interested in interacting with the creators. Artists who have an original voice they want to express creatively.

Designs - Promotional flyer - Promotional poster - Event-day tickets - Invitation tickets - Exhibitor passes

Materials Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop

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- Event-day pamphlet - Plastic bag - Signage (entrance gate, information booth, ticket box, area map, timetable etc.)


Design Festa vol.42

Part I

Timeline of Past Designs, vol.39 - vol.41 This section briefly covers my past designs (vol.39 - vol.41) that led up to the improvement and developing of Design Festa vol.42 identity design.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Design Festa vol.39 First-time directing & designing at Design Festa As a newly graduate, my immediate responsibility at Design Festa was to direct and design a brand identity for Design Festa vol.39. The biggest learning here was balancing time and product quality. Being responsible for designing 20+ print designs, I faced a challenge of creating high-quality products within a short amount of time. Making presentations to the staff, preparing photo cut-outs, creating prototypes and organizing printer-ready datas consumed more time than I had initially expected. At the end, the designs were completed on time but severely lacked strong concept and consistency. Ultimately, my goal for the next event was to fully gain control over time management and creative execution.

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Design Festa vol.42

Design Festa vol.40 Collaborating with outside artist With the result of vol.39, the team leader assignmed me to recruit one illustrator from our event exhibitors, and work as a team to create main visuals for Design Festa vol.40. The new task allowed me to tune my communication skills within and out of the office, while maintaining time to work on the actual design. Having even one outside collaborator involved required even more extra time to complete one design. It also taught me the value of sharing creative process and asking for constructive criticism. Thanks to the illustrator, we were also able to incorporate a completely different look on Design Festa’s 20th annivarsary event. [Illustration by Necompass]

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Design Festa vol.41 Implementing creative thinking in my working style After realizing the importance of communication at vol.40, my main goal for vol.41 was to initiate more conversations with various people involved with the event. During Design Festa vol.40, I scheduled time to interview exhibitors and visitors, and used their responses in building stronger concept for vol.41 - “Design Festa, the hub of international creativity.” I also co-ordinated meetings to seek feedbacks from staff members during every step of the creative process. Design Festa vol.41 was also my first time beginning the project with a poster design. Unlike in vol.39 and vol.40 where I began by designing flyers and invitation tickets, poster design was an efficient starting point in creating strong and consistent main visuals. For the longest time, I struggled to keep up with the previous designer’s work schedule. At vol.41, I managed to break free from trying to fit myself into other person’s working style, and gain control over my own creativity and design process

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Design Festa vol.42

Part II

Concept Building + Sketching The project began from collecting voices from the staff, artists and visitors on their views on Design Festa. To the question: “what is unique about Design Festa?” many responded: “you can make new friends” or “it’s a reunion ground for me.” Since the past 3 designs have been about capturing the liveliness of the event, this time, the team decided on the concept of “uniformed chaos,” emphasising the playful, get-together aspect of Design Festa. This section shows the makings of a poster design and the main visual entity of Design Festa vol.42.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Sketches

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Design Festa vol.42

First Draft

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

I designed a poster series focusing on three main components - 1. event name 2. photograph and 3. tagline. An image was placed in the center to create a polaroid-like effect. My aim was to create a simple, yet powerful visual using eye-catching photographs and vivid colors. However, the visuals proved to be rather difficult to unfold in other designs, such as event-day tickets and entrance gates.

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Design Festa vol.42

Second Draft

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Although Design Festa has had different main visuals for each event, photo collage has been one of the most popular methods of creating the identity. The biggest reason is that these photographs are a direct translation of the event itself. For my third time at using photo collages, I tried to place more emphasis on story-telling by placing images randomly and adding hand-drawn lines to represent motion. The effect is a playful design showing connection between the people, the artwork, and the setting all tied in together inside one big space.

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Design Festa vol.42

Part III

Outcome Following the completion of the poster design, I applied the visual system in various other materials including promotional flyers, tickets, passes and event-day signage.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

01

02 03

Print Designs

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01 02 03 04 05 06 07

Promotional Poster Event-day Tickets Invitation Tickets Promotional Flyer Exhibitor Passes Plastic Bag Event-day Pamphlet


Design Festa vol.42

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05

06

07

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Flyer Design Details

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Design Festa vol.42

Event-day Pamphlet Design Details

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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Design Festa vol.42

Signage etc.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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Design Festa vol.42

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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Design Festa vol.42

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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Design Festa vol.42

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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Design Festa vol.42

Evaluation Currently on to designing an identity for Design Festa vol.43, the lesson I took out from this project is: great ideas come even when you are off the desk. I have fought quite a while to put this idea into action. Ever since vol.39, I was afraid of giving myself a break or getting assigned with extra tasks. I thought I had absolutely no time to squeeze any other job into my schedule. Being aware of deadlines was of course important, but I learned that the more I loosened up myself from this pressure, the more control I had over my creativity. Now I interact with people more, and get myself involved in extra non-design tasks. I even direct a new workshop now for our GAKUTEN event (see next section). Being off the computer and interacting with people directly became my new source of inspiration and information. Designer or not, I see the idea of taking a break as still underrated. I believe that having an open mind about change of plans is crucial in giving the best performance and thus, producing the best result to a defined problem.

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GAKUTEN graphic design, branding, events planning


IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Designing and Events Planning for a new student art event, GAKUTEN. Overview GAKUTEN is an all-student art festival that began in August 2014 as a sub event of Design Festa. While Design Festa is targeted for amateurs and professional artists to buy, sell and perform, GAKUTEN is for networking: an opportunity for technical schools to reach out to the community alongside universities and students to step outside their classrooms for the first time to get real, unfiltered feedback from an audience. Thus, exhibitors are not limited to college students: to the contrary they vary in age from 8 years old to age 64 and include adults pursuing the study of an instrument, language, or craft in their free time, retirees attending classes at community centers, elementary school, middle school, high school students and more. GAKUTEN, like its student artists, is growing and evolving all the time.

Introduction As a designer and a creative thinker, my ambition for this year’s GAKUTEN (titled: “GAKUTEN 2016 + DESIGN FESTA SUMMER”) is to branch out and make contribution to an area outside of my own expertise. I want to create more opportunities for student exhibitors to present their ideas and artwork throughout the courses leading up to the event, instead of only at the event. I’m eager to contribute my design thinking in getting more student artists involved and in turn, listen to their voices to understand how GAKUTEN can be improved to answer to the needs of these students. This is an on-going project that I hope to establish as part of the GAKUTEN tradition. This section covers two aspects that I am heavily involved in: design and events planning. Even though they are presented separately, they are all strongly tied together. My aim is to show how much a designer can contribute to the process of community building. With creativity and curious minds, design thinking can act as a versatile and valuable source in defining a problem and developing appropriate solution.

Objectives To spread the name of the newly-established event. The target audience is anybody from Japan and overseas who are keen on original artworks and are interested in interacting with the creators. Student artists who have an original voice they want to express creatively and network with students from other schools.

Materials Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop

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GAKUTEN

Part I

Design Creative process behind the new identity of “GAKUTEN 2016 + DESIGN FESTA SUMMER.� Unlike Design Festa where 20-years of history calls for a strong and grounded concept, GAKUTEN remains a rather flexible event, open to make changes with the participanting students themselves. The challenge was creating an identity that speaks the fluidity of the event - in a way, the design also had to be flexible enough to allow any changes to happen while still keeping the basic look grounded.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Sketches

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GAKUTEN

First Draft - Typography

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

First Draft - Iterations

My initial response to GAKUTEN was that it had to look somewhat different from Design Festa designs. Since Design Festa designs incorporate vivid colors, photo collages and reduced negative spaces, I opted for simple type-centered designs emulating a writing written on a black chalkboard. The taglines read: “Calling All Students” (top) and “Art is a Lifelong Learning” (bottom right). Although the simplicity was refreshing, some pointed out that it was too ambiguous. For promoting a new event, the content was unclear and the taglines seemed too generic.

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GAKUTEN

Second Draft - Illustrations

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Second Draft - Iterations

01

02

01

I added some colors and elements that speak about the GAKUTEN event such as: illustrations showing typical art student’s possessions (laptop, sketchbook, paint brush etc.) or a reference to summer (as it was held in mid-August). Arrows and marks surrounding the drawings are hand-drawn elements symbolizing the positive energy that radiate from these next generation of artists.

02

Similar to 01, except I replaced the illustrations with photographs taken at the previous GAKUTEN event.

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GAKUTEN

03

04

03

A very straightforward design using primary colors and a photo of Tokyo Big Sight where the event is held at. Compared to the other three, the design is heavy with information.

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Using an outerspace-like visual to represent student artists’ infinite imaginations and possibilities. The bottom is again, a silhouette of Tokyo Big Sight, and the cloud-like figure stretches out to show expansion of these imaginations. At the center of Tokyo Big Sight writes: “Condition to Participating 1. Must be creative 2. Must be a student.” Although the design was cricitized for ambiguity once again, the idea of incorporating a clear message directly into the design could be re-worked for a better and more effective result.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Final Draft

01

Taking the last idea of the second draft in, I created a simple graphic using the silhouette of Tokyo Big Sight and a straightforward tagline listing the condition of participation. The contrast is apparent; unlike Design Festa designs, the GAKUTEN design using a simple outline of the architecture while keeping the necessary information clear and concise. After several discussions within the staff, the team decided to go for the 4th design. It is simple, yet diverts the eyes toward the center. The information is legible and easy to understand. The theme can also be easily applied to other designs, while showing potential to evolve depending on future circumstances (for example: collaborating with student artists etc.).

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02


GAKUTEN

03

04

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Outcome

I created a bilingual application booklet containing an overview of the event and the application form. The cross fold booklet is designed so that the first spread shows the general introduction of the 5 different areas available at the event. Opening up the rest of the pages will take you to the 4-page application forms.

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GAKUTEN

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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GAKUTEN

Part II

Events Planning: Dialogue Workshop Even though GAKUTEN is a sister event of Design Festa, that does not mean the management should be treated equally either. In fact, with a smaller-scaled venue and a target of mostly 10s to 20s student artists, a mere 2-day pass to exhibit at Tokyo Big Sight does not seem fair to the young participants who pay more than $150 to be there. In collaboration with my PR director, we decided to initiate a dialogue workshop to allow participants to network with fellow exhibitors, take part in events planning itself, and showcase their work during the days leading up to the event.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

The objectives of the dialogue workshop are as follows: 1.To serve as a space for the student participants to freely discuss and share their opinions, aspirations, problems and observations on topics related to art and school. 2.The Design Festa staff to listen to the demands of the students and find what could be needed to make the GAKUTEN event a better one. The core purpose of the dialogue was not to find a concrete solution for each question, but rather exchange ideas and explore the “grey zone� that was often left untouched. The participants were free to jot down ideas on post-its. These were later collected, organized and displayed on our office white board as a source of inspiration for our event management.

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GAKUTEN

1. Thirty Circles Exercise

Inspired by Creative Confidence: Unleasing the Creative Potential Within Us All written by Tom Kelley & David Kelley, I began the workshop asking the participants to challenge the “Thirty Circles� exercise. The activity works as follows: 1. Each participant gets a Thirty Circles sheet of paper and a pen. 2. The participants have three minutes to fill in blank circles into recognizable things (eg: donuts, smiley face etc.) 3. The partcipants pair up to compare results. The exercise not only helped break the ice, but also motivated the members to actively engage in creative thinking and communicate with the fellow participants.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

2. Student Questions

I led the dialogue by asking students the following questions: “What are you inspired by?” “What is the reason you started creating?” “Do you like to explore new possibilities or go deep into one subject?” “What would you like to be doing in 5 years time?” Eventually, the students themselves opened up to ask questions, as shown below: “How do I become a successful artist in the world where so many talented artists emerge every day?” “How do I create an artwork that creates a lasting impression on the viewer?”

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GAKUTEN

3. GAKUTEN Evaluation

The students had the freedom to input ideas for the upcoming “GAKUTEN” event, from events planning, advertising and the main visuals. Surpisingly, many participants spoke in-depth on event strategies. For example, instead of merely stating: “the exhibition fee should be cheaper” the students suggested many creative alternatives: - Create a flea market ground for students to hold an easy, lowbudget exhibition. This is to ease off the pressure of spending money on a proper booth space on their first exhibition. - Install a wall panel and divide it into small space for students who wish to exhibit only a few artworks at an affordable price. - Prepare a time-shift space for students who wish to exhibit for a few hours rather than for a whole day. More artists in one space will mean more visitors also.

ing with the stakeholders, we now have a better understanding of the needs and wants of the student participants. Providing a safe and comfortable environment was also my challenge for this workshop, though suprising number of students were voicing their opinions after the Thirty Circles exercise. Free, open discussion without a fear of getting judged or offended proved how much creativity each person has, regardless of their cultural, professional or artistic backgrounds. My next challenge is to put these ideas into action, continue this cycle of open dialogue, and evolve GAKUTEN into a hub of student community, where students feel empowered to be both a participant and an organizer of the whole organization.

As simple as it sounds, the dialogue workshop opened us up to new opportunities. By exchanging ideas, and most importantly, connect53


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GAKUTEN

Part III

Events Planning: GAKUTEN Office Mural Project Since December 2015, the GAKUTEN PR director and I have been organizing a mural project targeted towards the upcoming GAKUTEN exhibitors. Anybody, as long as they are participating at the next GAKUTEN event, can sign-up to paint the wall of our new GAKUTEN office without charge. The objectives of this project are: 1. provide an opportunity for participating students to present their work before GAKUTEN; 2. use the murals to PR the event in a completely new light; 3. allow more communication between the staff and the participant; 4. brighten the new GAKUTEN office.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Mural by Otsuru

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GAKUTEN

Mural by Karin Sakaguchi

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Mural by Yume No Yoru

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GAKUTEN

Mural by VIKI

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Before

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GAKUTEN

After

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

On Twitter

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GAKUTEN

Part IV

Events Planning: Nico Nico Live Broadcasting On January 2016, the GAKUTEN PR director and I have partnered with Nico Nico Douga, a Japanese video-sharing platform, to livestream our own show, talking about topics related to art, student life and of course, GAKUTEN and Design Festa events. Broadcasting it monthly, our aim is to spread the name of the events with more quality and context. Most importantly, Nico Nico Douga allows for an instant comment and communication with the viewers while airing the show. This means faster responses and easier communication with the audience living all over the world.

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

Screenshot of Nico Nico Douga

It was in fact, from the dialogue workshop that the very idea of livestreaming GAKUTEN and Design Festa via Nico Nico Douga emerged. Airing every month from Design Festa Gallery Harajuku, this 2-hour long show features me and the overseas PR coordinator, Sarah, explaining about and answering questions on Design Festa, GAKUTEN and Design Festa Gallery. We also welcome an MC directing the conversation, and several exhibiting guests from Design Festa, GAKUTEN and Design Festa Gallery. The main idea of holding a monthly Nico Nico Douga is to provide a context to what we are selling. Merely distributing event flyers without proper communication or a background knowledge will leave the target audience uncertain and confused. Having the staff and the guest speakors in front of the camera instantly makes the event a “real� thing. Additionally, the viewers also feel less pressured to provide a

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realistic feedback or even turn-off the show completely if they lose interest. The audience has enough freedom to interpret the show in their own way, whether that means subscribing to our channel, learning about new artist, or holding interest in the staff talk on behind-the-scenes stories. Although the content varies each show, it is usually comprised of the following: 1. Design Festa (Intro + guest artist from Design Festa) 2. Design Festa Gallery (Intro + guest artist from the gallery) 3. GAKUTEN (Intro + guest artists from GAKUTEN) 4. Staff Picks of the month (any artwork purchased in the past) 5. Mural Project artist interview (see the previous section) The number of viewers and comments are gradually increasing, thanks to the MC and the guest artists for their powerful fan base and the integration of upgraded equipments that allow more than 4 people to talk at the same time. What began as


GAKUTEN

Updating Twitter during livestream

approximately 1,000 viewers in January, it has now reached over 10,000. Although there may be an overlap to the numbers, if we keep up the pace untill GAKUTEN in August, we will have approximately 40,000 people learning about the events and the gallery. Twitter is still heavily used in Japan. Even during the dialogue workshop, almost all of the participants agreed that they use Twitter for news source, entertainment and research. When asked what is considered an attractive tweet, many responded something that is funny/includes an image/easy to read. We immediately put this into action.

before the day of the livestream, varying in content from basic information to an introduction of the guest artist. Twitter is also used during the show. The staff takes a photograph of the scene, tweets the currently discussed topic, and adds a link to our Nico Nico channel. The timely tweet is also another way to keep the followers included and up-to-date. Again, our Nico Nico Douga becomes another PR material to expand our names on a completely different social media platform.

I created a simple, yellow thumbnail (pictured above) that indicates a collaboration between “Nico Nico Douga x Design Festa.� Any tweet related to our livestream channel will always have the thumbnail at the beginning, followed by photographs of the show itself. Normally we start tweeting around 3 weeks

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IDENTITY DESIGN + EVENTS PLANNING

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GAKUTEN

This GAKUTEN project is my first time directing a new initiative outside of my comfort zone. Unlike design direction, more people are involved and more communication is necessary. I have always been interested in crossing disciplines and integrating creative thinking into other fields of expertise. But I would not have imagined myself doing it in a real-life setting, let alone directing it. This is also one of the reasons why I am intersted in studying MA Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins. I am eager to learn more about how events management can transform if it were to integrate design thinking and creative collaboration. I want to come back to this project on completion of the Masters study and be able to provide various strategies and solutions that would be unimaginable for me to identify right now. In the meantime, I am excited to see how the project might unfold, and the number of new people I get to meet during the course of this journey.

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The Manton Avenue Project identity, print design


GRAPHIC DESIGN

Re-imagining an identity system for the Manton Avenue Project, a children's theatre organization. Project Description Founded in 2004, The Manton Avenue Project’s mission is to maximize opportunities and enhance creativity of young people living in Olneyville, one of Providence’s lowest income neighborhoods. The program partners youth with adults in mentor relationships, engages under-resourced children and enhances their leaning of writing, theatre, and even social studies through playwriting. The MAP aims to provide a creative space where chidlren’s ideas are respected and their success is expected. My task was to re-develop an identity system that captured and communicated the spirit of the Manton Avenue Project’s philosophy - uniting young people’s creative voices through playwriting and performance. During the 4 months project, I conducted a field research, designed a logo/stationery/merchandise, and made presentations both in class and to the staff of the MAP. The task was part of the course at Clark University’s Visual and Performing Arts program, Graphic Design Studio.

Materials Adobe Photoshop Adobe Illustrator Adobe InDesign

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The Manton Avenue Project

Part I

Research + Visual Audit To familiarize myself with the philosophy of the MAP, I visited the facility in Providence and talked with the Executive Artistic Director, Meg Sullivan (center) and the Managing Director, Jesse Rye (second from left). I also had an opportunity to see the play, “Why No Rhino?” written by children and produced by adult directors, actors and designers. From the research, I created a visual audit of the MAP’s current identity system to map out my plans to improve their brand clarity.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Observations

Written by children and performed by adults, the play “Why No Rhino?� featured series of skits on the central theme of wildlife conservation. The team had 4 months to prepare the whole stage, from script writing to costume making. It was truly an unusual experience for me to witness a small group of people, ranging in age, culture, race and gender working collaboratively on a long-term creative project together. The MAP was more than just a regular after-school theatre program for children - it was a collection of creative people with diverse backgrounds, working together to inspire and innovate the community around them.

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The Manton Avenue Project

Visual Audit

First Logo (2004)

Second Logo (2008)

Current Logo (2009 -)

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Website

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The Manton Avenue Project

Promotional Flyers

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Children’s drawings of animals

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The Manton Avenue Project

Handmade buttons using children’s drawings

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

The MAP original planners and mugs sold at the event. 78


The Manton Avenue Project

Part II

Concept Building + Sketching One of the things I noticed about the MAP visual identity was the lack of translations of its principles across all visual platforms. Despite the powerful concept, I found the MAP logo to be slightly weak in conveying the core value of the organization. I aimed to re-design the identity by moving away from cliche images of theatre and shifting focus on their foundamental ideas on youth development and creative collaboration.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Sketches

01

02

03

04

01 & 02 Notes from interviewing Meg and Jesse outlining the principles and goals of the MAP. 03 & 04 Logo designs incorporating ideas that were brought up at the interview, such as: “More children/family involved” “get away from exclusivity” “use Spanish exclamation points for suble cultural signifier” etc.

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The Manton Avenue Project

First Draft

These logos focused more on the idea of theatre, children, or the organization itself, rather than portraying the idea of the MAP. The logomarks were also still cliche. However, the idea of deconstructing the form of the letters came to use later on in developing the final logo design.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Second Draft

I took the deconstruction further and created an “M” into a tent, while hand-drawing the letters “A” and “P”. The effect was a colorful and playful imagery aimed to address the MAP’s mission on nurturing and encouraging children’s creativity (while also hinting the theatrical aspect of the MAP). However, some saw the pointy edges as slightly violent-looking, and did not respond too positively to the image I was going for.

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The Manton Avenue Project

Final Draft

While I was revising my interview notes, I came across Jesse’s point on “using Spanish exclamation points” as a subtle cultural signifier to symbolize inclusion and appreciation of diversity. Immediately, I began studying the forms and patterns of the marks. The end result was a breakdown of the forms into simple geometric shapes, which also fulfilled the “playful” aspect of the organization.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Iterations

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The Manton Avenue Project

Part III

Outcome On completion of the logo design, I created various stationery, merchandise and programs designed to easily accommodate the resources and skills required to sustain the brand in the long run. Rather than utilizing my identity for an entire merchandise designs, I integrated materials from the current identity - such as children’s drawings of animals - for a marketing purprose; selling items with kids’ drawings will attract more people (family, friends, and their networks) than simply using the new, foreign logomark. Although my assignment was to design an identity, I also mapped out possible future scenarios and the ways in which the brand can expand realistically.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Final Logo

Primary

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The Manton Avenue Project

Secondary

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Primary Colors

Midnight Plum PMS 2627 C 75 M 100 Y 0 K 30

Tangerine PMS 137 C 0 M 35 Y 90 K 0

Secondary Colors

C 100 M 100 Y 100 K 100

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C 0 M0 Y 0 K 0

Custard PMS 607 C 0 M0 Y 18 K 0

Kiwi PMS 382 C 30 M0 Y 100 K 0


The Manton Avenue Project

Primary Typography

Scala Sans OT Light ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 0123456789 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz / for use in logo text, subheaders, and main text /

Scala Sans OT Regular ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 0123456789 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz / for use in headers /

Secondary Typography

Verdana ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ 0123456789 abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz / designs created on Microsoft Word, for example: programs, flyers etc. /

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Stationery

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Business Card Letterhead Envelope


The Manton Avenue Project

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Merchandise 04 05

T-shirt Mugs

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

The Manton Avenue Project Presents

WHY NO RHINO? the endangered species plays Meg Sullivan Artistic Director Jesse Rye Managing Director Paula Correia Costume Designer Yanna Kiriacopoulos Technical Designer & Designer Edward Figueroa Light Board Operator Kelly Seigh Stage Manager Liza Anderson, Ashley Figueroa & Najelie Padilla Backstage Crew Emily Wilson Graphic Designer Clare Blackmer, Melissa Bowler, Nicole Cooney, Mike Favicchio, Jess Fields, Nicole Maynard, Mike Varejao, Melissa Rabinow, Sarah Reiter, Kelly Seigh & Meg Sullivan Prop Stylists and Colorists

The Plays: Act One All the animals with an * are endangered.

I am interested in volunteering with The Manton Avenue Project: Name: ________________________________________ Phone Number: ________________________________ Email: ________________________________________ I would be interested in: ____ Acting/Dramaturgical assistance ____ Props or Costumes assistance ____ Backstage Crew ____ House managing/Front-of-house assistance ____ Administrative assistance ____ I can offer my talents in the area(s) of: __________________________________________ __________________________________________

Endangered Devon by Carmen Hernandez Dramaturge/Director: Jhompy Ventura Setting: The Zoo Time: 11:30am Deven, a rhino* ------------------------------------------------------Pamela Lambert James, an owl ---------------------------------------------------------Jeff Hodge Playwright Sponsors: Councilwoman Sabina Matos, Jeremy Mickel

Shipped off to the Mountains by Dalayasia Pina Dramaturge/Director: Sarah Reiter Setting: Mountains in Asia; outside a den Time: 2pm - 6pm - 7:30pm - the next day

The Snow Leopard and the Box Turtle by Alexander Rosales Dramaturge/Director: Andy Mendillo Setting: Maine Woods Time: 12pm Best, a snow leopard* ----------------------------------------------Randy Bush Steve, an eastern box turtle*-------------------------------------Curtis Love Playwright Sponsors: Elizabeth and David Merritt, Ed Merritt, and Susan Merritt

Best Friends at the Zoo by Andreyah Vidal Dramaturge/Director/Composer: Nicole Cooney Setting: At the zoo Time: 5:30pm Lily, a red panda* -----------------------------------------------------Mark Gray Jessica, a cotton top tamarin*-----------------------------------Jess Fields Playwright Sponsors: Michelle Skrobish, Joanne Speroni-Woody and Michael Woody

Nancy, a snow leopard* ------------------------------------------Becca Bertrand PJ, a polar bear -------------------------------------------------------Francesca Montenile

Please add me to your mailing list: Name: ________________________________________ Address: ______________________________________ ______________________________________ Phone: ________________________________________ Email: _________________________________________ Please note that we do not share our mailing list with third parties.

Playwright Sponsors: Rena Abeles, Guy Abelson, Sara and Mark Betnel

Alex and James in the Forest by Stephanie Morales Dramaturge: Jesse Rye Director: Brien Lang Setting: At the forest - Alex’s house - in the forest Time: 3pm - 3:30pm - one week later James, a black-footed ferret* -----------------------------------Clare Blackmer Alex-------------------------------------------------------------------------Mike Duetschmann Playwright Sponsors: Jean and Mark Patiky, Stephanie and Matthew Plain

Programs (Microsoft Word template document)

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INTERMISSION! enjoy some chocolate


The Manton Avenue Project

Evaluation Even though the project was part of the class assignment, it was the closest I felt to working in a real-life environment at the time. The biggest learning here was about relationship-building. This project pushed me to communicate effectively with the “clients,� and trained me to regard every uttered words as important, as in the case of the Spanish exclamation marks - it was through these interactions that this idea emerged and developed. Thanks to this opportunity, I also ended up working with the MAP for another year outside the school environment. Maintaining relationships even after the completion of the course was what helped me discover new opportunites and challenges to further develop my skills. The lesson I take from this project is that a design project can have a beginning and an end, but a fulfiling human interaction can bring so many other possibilities and creativity. As a designer, my job isn’t simply to design something. It is through communication that I address the problem, propose a question, and deliver answers that fit the needs of every people who are involved in the process.

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Homes graphic design, photography, print design


GRAPHIC DESIGN

A hand-crafted book on the meaning of "home." Project Description A hand-crafted book compiling the memories of my two homes: Yokohama, Japan and Worcester, United States. Even though these homes are geographically distanced, there are moments in my day-to-day life where I experienced a sense of deja vu or a feeling of nostalgia in various unexpected places. The photos in this book are those recollected moments of familiarity that I experienced while living in Japan and the United States. The texts on the photographs strongly reflect my emotion towards the moments I captured with my disposable camera; there are no reasons, just my pure instincts. The corresponding language is also based on my instinct; whichever language communicated my thoughts better was placed on the image. By alternating my creative process from analogue to digital, I was also able to marry two completely opposite elements in one harmonious piece - an allegory of myself as being a mixture of two separate yet balanced cultures.

Materials Disposable cameras Tracing papers Drawing papers Linen thread Cover boards

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Homes

Part I

Concept Building As a person who has experience living in many different cities around the world, I was eager to capture my unique identity and transform it creatively that made sense to the audience who was unfamiliar with my background. My project thus began with the visual exploration of my two strongest cultural backgrounds - Japan and the United States - varying from language experimentation to photography manipulation.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

First Draft

leg

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App

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eye

I began the project first by intepreting Engish idioms literally and transforming it into posters. My motive was to de-construct my understanding of the English language and bring back fresh perspectives on how I viewed these idioms the very first time I heard them. However, the images ended up looking a little child-like, and did not quite convey the idea of “language experimentation� that I was going for. Morever, by creating imagery entirely out of a computer, these pieces turned into an extremely generic observation of the English language itself and only, instead of making a connection to my understanding of cultural identity.

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rainin

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Homes

Second Draft

My second step was to search for ways to integrate human qualities into my work. With background in film and digital photography, I decided to use a disposable camera to capture moments that evoked nostalgia or a sense of familiarity/deja vu on a day to day basis. After developing the film, I scanned and edited these photographs on Photoshop. I also tried placing texts on to these images. My problem here was finding the right balance between editing and altering. I noticed that making too many changes would seem like a mere photography experiment. My other task was to identify ways to present these series of images in a uniformed way.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Homes

Part II

Prototyping The presentation style varied depending on how I wanted my audience to interact with my images. After discussing the topic with my advisor and my classmates, I opted in making books. Holding a book in a hand is a gesture of intimacy and privacy. I wanted my audience to have a one-on-one experience with my work, rather than taking a quick glance at a framed work on a wall. By selecting book as my medium, I was also able to engage the reader through different senses - seeing, touching and hearing - allowing it for an even more personal experience.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Prototypes

#1 My first attempt was to create a book on a computer. The corresponding texts were either placed directly on the image or right next to the image. However, the digital book completely hindered the beauty of the film photography. The printed pages looked flat, and diminished the quality of three senses - see, hear and feel.

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Homes

#2 Knowing that digital book wasn’t the right fit for my work, I began a research on building a handmade book. My first step was to find the right paper. I visited various art supply stores and art classes to gather paper samples. My possibilities expanded as I discovered different kinds of papers. For example, I was now able to place one language directly on to the photograph and a translation text on to the tracing papers to create an even more harmonized effect between my Japanese and American backgrounds. I also used a printmaking machine to engrave a small dint on to the paper to frame the photographs. From film photography, to digital manipulation, and finally to book-binding, I soon discovered that my process was also a journey of digital and analogue work. Surprisingly, the process was an allegory of myself as a mixture of two separate yet balanced cultures. 103


GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Homes

Part III

Final Product + Evaluation The book was exhibited at Clark University’s “Liberal Art[ist]s Education” placed on a white pedastal with artist statement hand-written directly on the wall. The audience was encouraged to view the book without a use of gloves in order to fully engage with the experience of handmade books.

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Homes

Evaluation Although my concept was strong and clear, I believe that I could have consolidated it even further to bring the best possible experience to the readers. One of my biggest challenge is to improve my skills on book-binding and presentation. My product still lacks quality, and without quality, it is difficult for the readers to fully engage in the experience on a topic that is fairly personal and complicated. If I could do this project again, I would like to focus more on the creative process and let the end product take its shape on itself. I want to see how the work might transform if I add more analogue/digital process or alter the order differently. As an individual who is still absorbing new cultures every day, I am excited to see the result if I were to create this book in a similar methodology again. 107


GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Homes

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Design Festa Gallery print design, illustrations


GRAPHIC DESIGN

Flyer designs for Design Festa Gallery themed exhibitions: Flock Exhibition and Meow Exhibition 6 Project Description Part of my responsibility at Design Festa also includes designing main visuals for themed exhibitions held at Design Festa Gallery Harajuku. These themed exhibitions are organized three times an year, and are usually catered towards the main demographic of the Harajuku area. Participation is open to the general public, and anybody can exhibit as long as their work is original and relevant to the respective theme. In the past, we have organized “Kawaii Exhibition,” “Girls Exhibition,” and “Zine Exhibition.” It is a great opportunity as a staff to witness diversity and creativity in one setting too. This section covers two main visuals that I have created for Design Festa Gallery themed exhibitions: Flock Exhibition, which was held on December 2015, and Meow Exhibition 6, the most popular themed exhibition at the gallery, scheduled to be held on January 2017. Since both exhibitions are targeted towards a younger population, I aimed to create a flyer that incorporates analogue drawings, just like children’s picture books.

Materials Pencil Paper Pastel Adobe Illlustrator Adobe Photoshop

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

Part I

Flock Exhibition Postcard, flyer and web banners designed to promote the gallery’s themed exhibition: Flock Exhibition. The exhibition hosted over 20 artists’ original bird-related work in the entire second floor of Design Festa Gallery.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Sketches

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

Illustrations

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Postcard

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

Flyer

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Web Banners

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

Part II

Meow Exhibition 6 Flyer and web banner designed to promote the gallery’s themed exhibition: Meow Exhibition 6. This is an on-going project for the themed exhibition scheduled to take place in January 2017.

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Sketches

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Flyer

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Design Festa Gallery Harajuku

Web Banner

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Chasing Lines photography


PHOTOGRAPHY

Capturing the face of Tokyo in it's simplest form shapes, lines and textures. Project Description Tokyo is a vibrant city with full of stimulations and colors. The place has so much to offer, and while these stimulations can be inspiring, it can also be a little overwhelming. However, with the right amount of attention to details, the city transforms into a wonderous research lab. Fusing my passion for photography, I captured my hometown Tokyo in it’s simplest form, focusing on its shapes, lines and textures. By removing the clutters and noises, I was able to rediscover the power and beauty of minimalistic designs. With any creative work, noticing the borderline between “too much” and “too little” is extremely difficult. By collecting visuals that speak perfect simplicity to me, I seek to train my eyes on the most gratifying forms and apply the vision to my own creative work.

Cameras + Applications Fujifilm X100T iPhone 6 VSCOcam Snapseed

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Chasing Lines

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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Chasing Lines

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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Chasing Lines

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Latka photography


PHOTOGRAPHY

Exploration & experimentation - documenting Tokyo in vibrant colors. Project Description Latka is a potato pancake. But here I mean a fashion blog. Founded in our tiny dorm room at Clark University in the winter of 2011, Nhung Hong Truong and I originally began Latka as a platform to express our love for fashion and photography. However, after years of living in and travelling to different cities such as Worcester, Boston, Hanoi, and Tokyo, it was no surprise that we also began sharing stories about the city’s unique cultural scenes. While the previous section focused on the pure forms of textures and shapes, this project explores the cultural scenes of Tokyo in its most saturated form. To convey the diversity of the city, we made sure that the clothing harmonized effectively with the location. We spent at least one hour examining the location and test shoot multiple times in order to familiarize ourselves with the atmosphere. The following images are our product of our mutual effort to recognize and showcase Tokyo’s true colors that are more than just how the outside media portrays it.

Cameras + Applications RICOH GR II Fujifilm X100T iPhone 5 & 6 Photoshop VSCOcam

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Latka

Shinjuku, Golden-Gai

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PHOTOGRAPHY

Ginza, Hermes Building

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Latka

Tsunashima, Parking Garage

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PHOTOGRAPHY

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Latka

Iidabashi Station, Tokyo Metro Oedo Line 141


PHOTOGRAPHY

Shibuya, by the elevator at LIVING ROOM cafe

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Latka

Shibuya, Scramble Crossing

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[Left] Shimokitazawa, Shisha Bar [Top & Bottom] Shimokitazawa, Shinryuji Temple

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Ueno, Tokyo University of the Arts


Piazza typography, graphic design


LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

Experimental typography inspired by the city of Siena, Italy. Project Description I flew to Siena, Italy on June of 2013 to attend the experimental typography workshop, led by a designer Don Tarallo, to explore the typographic resources, arts, and architecture of Siena and create an uppercase typeface inspired by an aspect of the city. Being it my first time ever to step foot in Europe, the geography and the landscape of Siena was extremely fascinating. I always had a map with me to navigate the city, since shortcuts were non-present and each street curved in a unique way. Ultimately, I chose to study the map of the city itself to extract forms and lines that could be used as a consistent pattern to create an uppercase typeface. This was how my typeface, “Piazza,” was born. A majority of the course was done off of the computer (with a brush and plaka) providing me with the opportunity to refine my craftsmanship and critical eye. The lectures also covered the history of typography, Italy’s contribution to the evolution of the Latin alphabet and traditional letterform proportions. I also had a chance to visit the city archives and museums to see examples of letterforms dating as far back the Etruscans.

Materials Plaka Brush Paper Pencil Ruler Adobe InDesign

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Piazza

Part I

Process I examined the shape of the streets using the map (above) and extracted a couple of letters, including “H” “L” “T” “F” and “O.” After collecting several different shapes of letters, I studied the forms to identify patterns that could be used as a basic guideline to create the rest of the uppercase typeface. During the process, I created a quick zine using a copy machine to archive the sketchings of extracted letters.

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LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

Extracting

Studying

Drawing

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Piazza

Zine produced using copying machine and extracted letters.

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LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

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Piazza

Part II

Outcome I named my typeface, “Piazza,” from Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares in Siena. It’s characteristics are the asymmetrical forms and the diagonal lines.

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LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

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Piazza

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LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

Evaluation On completion of the course, my appreciation towards type design grew a lot deeper. Nowadays, it is easy for us to oversee the originality of the existing typefaces due to the convenience of technology. Through careful crafting however, I was able to study the form and composition of each letter and experience the delicate process of creating a typeface that makes sense both individually and collectively. My next step would be to take the same approach but reinvent the basic guildeines so as to create a set of entirely different typefaces. I am interested in exploring the diversity of the concept and see what kind of typefaces emerge if I were to examine different type forms at the beginning of the process.

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Piazza

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liberal art[ist]s education typography, identity, graphic design


LOGO + TYPE DESIGN

Logo design for Clark University's Senior Thesis Exhibition, "liberal art[ist]s education." Project Description I designed a logo for Clark University’s Senior Thesis exhibition held at Spring 2012, titled “liberal art[ist]s education.” The biggest challenge was capturing the diversity of the participating students, especially since the concept of the exhibition itself was on the essence of studying art at a liberal arts institution. As a resullt, I decided to focus on the title alone - liberal art[ist]s education - and create a simple identity that triggers curiosity and amusement of the audience.

Materials Adobe InDesign

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liberal art[ist]s education

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Miscellaneous print design, typography, drawing


MISCELLEANEOUS

EVERY 2 SECONDS SOMEONE IN THE US NEEDS BLOOD

SAVE ANOTHER LIFE donate your blood

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Blood Donation Poster 3.11 Japan Earhquake Memorial Poster “The End of Things” Symposium Poster “Systematic, Diagnostic & Rehabilitative Voice Teaching” Recital Poster

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Posters

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MISCELLEANEOUS

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“My Means” Band Logo Boston Borrow Zine Logo Genomic Institute of Asia Logo Design Festa / GAKUTEN Show Stage Logo


Logo + Typography

Inspired by Ryuichi Sakamoto’s “Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence.”

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MISCELLEANEOUS

[Left] Crunched-up paper [Right] Study & re-designing of Japanese postal service, “Kamo-mail” 170


Sketches + Drawings

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MISCELLEANEOUS

Figure drawings using Pose Maniacs

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Sketches + Drawings

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MISCELLEANEOUS

Conscious vs. a subconscious mind

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Sketches + Drawings

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The Global and the National in American and Japanese Brand Advertising: A Comparative Study of Coca-Cola, Apple, Nintendo, and Honda Abstract This working paper looks at the ways in which the Japanese and American college students, with various cultural backgrounds, read the Japanese and American television advertisements of four global brands - Apple, Coca-Cola, Nintendo, and Honda. It argues for the need to study the audience responses based on the participants’ cultural background, rather than simply identifying by their race. The findings show that despite the past literatures’ claims on East-West binary constructions, all the interpretive communities understood the commercials in shared ways. The difference was only prominent when discussing minor cultural details, in which case, the interpretive communities with a higher exposure to the foreign country (i.e. Japanese students in the U.S., or American students who have been to Japan) were more successful at decoding. Introduction The Japanese and American advertisements have often been categorized separately from one another. The past literatures often sought to explain the differences rather than identifying the similarities of each culture. This paper investigates whether the Japanese and American advertisements are truly bipolar like how it has been mentioned in past studies. The study essentially investigates how the

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college students of Japan and the U.S. respond to the global brand advertisements; if the past literatures are correct in their explanations, the Americans will have difficult time decoding the Japanese ads - and vice versa. As we experience the postmodern age of media saturation, rapid changes, fragmentation and instability of meanings, so, too, is advertising evolving to adapt to these transformations. We now encounter advertisements not only on television or in magazines, but also on the internet, such as on the sidebar of Facebook, or before a YouTube video starts playing. There are “place based” ads in buses, taxis, and trains, as well as “product placements” on popular TV shows or movies (Ruskin and Schor 412). Advertising has become such an integral part of our culture that we have become conditioned to living in a world full of advertisements. Indeed, to live a day in today’s world without seeing any advertising has become nearly impossible. While advertisement is a large part of our culture, many past studies elaborate differently on the functions of advertising-culture relationships. Anthony J. Cortese, in Provocateur: Images of women and minorities in advertising, describes advertisement as mirroring, rather than molding, the culture in which it exists (27). Others such as Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor have stated that spread of advertisements in social space and cultural institutions has led to an increase in materialism and commercialization (412). Consequently, they argue that advertisements are more or less influencing culture rather than the other way around. Another dimension to this idea is that “all culture these days is media culture” as media exists in our society to “produce, disseminate, receive and consume culture” (Moeran, Asian Media Production 6). In other words, advertising is already an essential piece of our


culture, especially in capitalist countries such as the United States and Japan. Nonetheless, in any given circumstance, advertising’s role is to persuade audiences to be part of what they’re selling, whether it’d be about buying certain products, joining a specific community, or encouraging a particular movement. Essentially, advertisers must consider the audience first before they begin producing an ad. The marketing teams of advertising agency are responsible for the duty such as gathering data on consumer behavior and preferences. The up-to-date data is essential in creating advertisements that make a strong appeal to current consumers. Advertising is, to put it simply, an audience-designed system. A number of previous studies examined the advertising of Japan and the United States from cultural perspectives, often placing them in cultural binaries such as collectivism versus individualism, soft sell approach versus hard sell approach, and respect for elderly and tradition versus youth and modernity. The results usually confirmed the hypotheses that advertising, whether in forms of television or print, reflected the cultural values of a particular society. Hong, Muderrisoglu, and Zinkhan, in “Cultural Differences and Advertising Expression” explained that American advertisements were more individualistic and informative, thereby highlighting the merits of the product more clearly and directly than the Japanese counterpart (57). On the other hand, their findings showed that the Japanese advertisements emphasized group harmony and emotional appeal more in order to conform to the society’s group consensus (Hong, Muderrisoglu and Zinkhan 57). Furthermore, Belk and Bryce, in “Materialism and Individual Determinism in U.S. and Japanese Print and Television Advertising” noted that Japanese advertisements are more inclined to stress status symbols as a way for an individual to define their position in their given groups in the society (Belk and Bryce 6). Conversely, they noted that the American advertisements focused more on individualism and the notion of “standing out” as a way to display the individual’s desire to be number one (Belk and Bryce 6). These earlier studies have long used overgeneralized concepts to analyze the Japanese and the American advertisements, rather than implementing qualitative methods to explore the complex relationships of these cultural variations. In order to understand the portrayal of culture in advertising and how they are represented in the given cultural context, it is important to understand the dynamics of today’s culture beyond conventional binaries. Many writers, including Thomas Friedman, Ulf Hannerz, Jonathan Friedman and Arjun Appadurai agree that culture is always changing, moving or fusing with another culture at global, corporate, and individual levels. Thomas Friedman, for example, looks at global culture from his notion of “globalization 3.0,” whereby the individuals are now forming and changing their selfhood through exposure to various cultures (Friedman 11). The idea that “non-Western, non-white” groups of individuals have power to compete and collaborate globally is another example showing the complexity of today’s culture in the global field (Friedman 11). Appadurai similarly states that “the new global cultural economy has to be understood as a complex, overlapping, disjunctive order, which cannot any longer be understood in terms of existing center-periphery models” (Appadurai 296). He believes that such former oppositional elements including center-periphery, push-pull, surpluses-deficits, or consumers-producers models are not sufficient enough to explain “the fundamental disjunctures between economy, culture and politics” (Appadurai 296). He proposes that such disjunctures can be explored by looking at the relationships between five dimensions of global cultural flow: ethnoscapes, mediascapes, technoscapes, finanscapes and ideascapes. Essentially, he claims that the degree to which an individual experiences these dimensions determines which

“imagined worlds” they live in (Appadurai 296). Therefore, a Japanese college student living in Japan may live in the same imagined world as an American college student living in the United States. Today’s culture isn’t defined solely on one’s geographical position, but rather on how one constructs him or herself through those five cultural dimensions. Again, as Thomas Friedman mentioned, an individual in today’s world could be a product of many cultural variations, and without knowing, they may share more similarities with a person living on the other side of the world than a person living next door. Ultimately, today’s advertising must fulfill the desires of the consumers on both the collectivistic and individualistic level, and global and local level (Bagley 443). This study will essentially identify whether Japanese and American advertisements are translatable to the foreign groups, and if so, to what degree each interpretive community understands the cultural variables embedded in the ads. The categorizations of Japanese and American cultures, regardless of the context in which they are used, are contemporary example of the Oriental versus Occidental ideologies (Said 5). To avoid the risk of generalizing culture, the main compartment of the paper will be based on the responses obtained from the focus group study of Japanese and American college students with various cultural backgrounds.

Cover image from http://blog.hihostels.com/ Full paper available upon request. Contact koyamamegu@gmail.com

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koyamamegu@gmail.com 7-8-12 Hinominami Konanku Yokohama, JAPAN 234-0055

Megumi Koyama: MA Innovation Management  

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