A collaboration with Klein Dytham architecture. Ian Lynam Design created the interior graphic design scheme for Google’s new floor of offices in Roppongi.
Hundreds of meters of custom wallpapers with bespoke graphics were designed that crossed six complementary graphic themes:
• a stylized koi pond for the office entrance
• an abstracted, hyper-pop alternate Tokyo for meeting rooms
• garden brickwork with emphasized decorative elements revealing the hidden gardens of Tokyo for hallways and common areas
• sedate gardens for the relaxation and wellness area
• a modular Tokyo for the technical services area
• windows into the Tokyo of the future created in a psychedelic take on 60s and 70s science fiction book covers
We also designed a trilingual room signage system using an alternate, but complementary graphic language.
Thanks to everyone at KDa and Google for making it such a terrific finished project!
All photos © Koichi Torimura & Toshiki Senoue.
Read more about it in the new “Spaces + Places” section of our website, along with another recent project for Google.
Fred Armisen and our logo for LePigeon in Episode 1 of Season 3 of the TV show Portlandia.
Chef/partner Gabe Rucker makes a brief appearance, as well!
I just received the catalog for the 2012 Asia Pacific Design Awards in the mail from Sandu Media in China. It’s a mammoth tome – over 500 pages, gilt-edged with blind debossed covers.
I would like to give a shout-out to all of the folks in Japan that I selected as a judge for the Asia Pacific Design Awards this year…
… but none more than Yuki Masuko, one of the hardest-working graphic designers out there and a fabulous, inspiring individual.
I wrote an essay for the book and am including it here. It expounds on certain themes from recent pieces I’ve written, as well as taking aim at certain trends within graphic design which I find problematic. You can read it in full here.
Our type foundry Wordshape is currently doing a massive promotion via YouWorkForThem – 25% off all fonts across the board!
Above is a new tee shirt design for CalArts Graphic Design Department‘s upcoming tee shirt exhibition and sale. This one’s a shoutout to the assorted folks who have taught at the school throughout the years (as well as design educators everywhere) who constantly catch shit from students while simultaneously whipping them into some of the best designers out there. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: I am delighted to pay my student loan bill every month. My time earning my MFA at CalArts was some of the best of my life. The folks I studied under taught me so much.
This shirt, coupled with a new essay on Japanese public art for UK publishing house Quarto’s upcoming book on global public art that I banged out today, made for a great way to round out the year. Yuki, Paul and I send our best wishes to all of our clients, collaborators and friends for 2013 – we hope this upcoming year is your best yet!!
John Fluevog is using our typeface Kirimomi Swash Italic for its national holiday campaign.
An older essay just got a digital reprint over at Néojaponisme.
I wrote and designed a ton for the latest issue of Idea – approximately half of the issue. Click here to read all about it!
I did a lecture at Temple University Japan in Amanda Kaiser’s Journalism class on the use of video in editorial contexts. Fun stuff! The above slide was a cautionary notice for thinking about video and sound in the Japanese urban environment.
The Doodle 4 Google event we designed went off surprisingly well!
40 happy kids won awards for their visions of the world 100 years from now.
The kids filing in…
Getting briefed prior…
and winning stuff!
Thanks so much to the kids, the amazing folks at Google and all of our friends who helped support this initiative!
In non- Google news, I’ve been given the honor of judging this year’s Typodarium along with type design & lettering legend Ed Benguiat, wünderkind Lucas de Groot, designer Boris Kochan and type design extraordinaire Veronika Burian.
Also, an interview I did five years ago or so with type designer Akira Kobayashi for the late PingMag is up over at Type Is Beautiful, translated into Chinese.
We have created the full experience (set design, stage design, animations, lighting design, print design and sound design) for Google’s Doodle 4 Google event in Tokyo, happening on Sunday December 2. Check it out on Google+ here!
I have a piece of writing in the latest issue of Slanted, out now.
We also did a bit of custom font work for the lovely folks at Mistress this month.
I have some work in the latest issue of RRR.
My essay “With A Spatula in Her Hand” was just published on the website for Modes of Criticism, a new design criticism magazine. I will have another essay in the inaugural print issue, out soon.
PechaKucha Night Tokyo X Tokyo Design Week just finished up a few days ago – one of the biggest PechaKucha events ever! 1,000 folks hanging out and listening to presentations by designers from all over the world.
For us, one of the most exciting things was seeing our logo design for PechaKucha Night projected h-u-u-u-u-ge across the interior of a geodesic dome.
R. Buckminster Fuller is one of our heroes and the geodesic dome one of the most appealing structures in architecture, so to have our design applied to one, even a temporary one, was fantasic.
Photos by the amazing Michael Holmes Photo.
I designed a new “wire” variant on the YACHT logo for Jona and Claire today for the band’s tenth anniversary, oddly enough occuring on my 40th birthday. Flyer below not by me.
Our new ad campaign for NASA and The Washington County Museum launched this month. Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe opens on November 17.
We’ve been knee deep in a fair amount of identity work lately, as well. We crafted up a logo and identity system for Michael Holmes Photo of Tokyo.
Just finished, as well, is the identity and environmental design for Le Comptoir Occitan, a new Basque restaurant in Daikanyama within Hillside Terrace. More photos coming soon.
I won an Asia Pacific Design Award again. Whoo! And I didn’t even pick myself!
Some exciting news: I am joining the faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts, teaching in their MFA graphic design program as of October. The university is a low-residency program and I’ll be teaching both in Vermont and from home base in Tokyo.
Japanese Graphic Design: Not in Production, a new piece of design criticism I wrote has been posted at Néojaponisme. It will be followed by six supplementary posts showing the best that Japanese contemporary graphic design has to offer.
One small, subtle design change has been added to our website, but one that is huge and took a whole lot of work: ianlynam.com is now bilingual in English and Japanese.
Giant thanks to Yamane-san for plowing through miles of project translations, consulting with us on arcane typographic terms and just generally being amazing. Equally gigantic thanks to Yuki for collecting project text, editing through the sweaty summer, coordinating the whole project and making it all go smoothly. Go team!!!
One of the most exciting projects we’ve been working on as of late is developing the identity and user interface/user experience for Videogram, a brand spanking new integrated iOS app and web app created by the amazing team at Cinemacraft.
Videogram allows you to convert your personal iOS video, YouTube and Vimeo videos to interactive sequential art (comics!). Videos become sequences of still which you can click through to view video.
Revolutionary stuff, debuting this weekend at TechCrunch in San Francisco!
Working on Videogram has been an amazing iterative process – nothing is written in stone and everything is up for grabs!
I will be lecturing on October 17 and doing a workshop on October 19 at the Vermont College of Fine Art for their MFA program in Graphic Design.
I have a new essay up on Néojaponisme called “Candid Thoughts on the 2020 Olympic Logo”.
Korea! I’m going to be lecturing on September 25 at Hongik University and on September 26 at Kookmin University, both in Seoul. More info soon!
I contributed a 14-page standalone section to the latest issue of Germany’s Slanted magazine called Japanese Graphic Design: Not In Production. This feature stands as a critical response the current graphic design retrospective of the past ten years Graphic Design: Now In Production, Zombie Modernism 2.0 and my desire for ambiguity and contradiction in graphic design, not simplistic formula-based design.
We have a couple of awesome new clients – notably the Washington County Museum…
and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)!
Our fonts are now being distributed by the UK’s Hype For Type.
I pitched in on the writing and editing of the definitive monograph of Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita, along with Kiyonori Muroga of Idea. Sukita’s work chronicles much of rock and roll history from the late 1960s through today, with a heavy focus on the work of David Bowie, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Joe Strummer and the circle of friends surrounding Jim Jarmusch.
Lovingly designed by HeQuiti Harata, it’s a must-get.
I would like to extend a giant round of thanks to all of the attendees of our lecture on the work of Oswald Bruce “Oz” Cooper at TypeCon in Milwaukee. It was such a tremendous response and so appreciated.
If you’d like a copy of the text that the lecture was based on, you can order a copy of Idea #339 here from Wordshape.
Our studio has created revivals of many of the typefaces covered in the lecture. You can check them out here from Wordshape, here from MyFonts and here from YouWorkFromThem.
Thanks to the Society of Typographic Aficionados and the TypeCon board for having us come present. TypeCon2012 was amazing!
I have a ton of work in the new book Logolicious from HarperCollins.
My recent poster series with Chad Rea for Electricity Showroom is now available via Ecopop.
Got a nice little shoutout in Eye Magazine’s blog today. Whoot!
I’ll be doing a piped-in lecture at Otis College of Design on Wednesday at 3pm PST. (Bum rush the show!)
While watching Season Three of Futurama, we discovered that the folks who made the show used a handful of Wordshape fonts, most noticeably Cooper Black Swash Italic here and there throughout. Exciting to find your work out in the televised world!
I have a new feature in the latest issue of Slanted Magazine– an essay about wayfinding and mortality.
I also edited Toshiaki Koga’s new feature about the work of Zak Kyes in the latest issue of Idea.
Our fonts are featured over at WebInk this month.
Our Wordshape fonts are now being distributed by YouWorkForThem- the first typeface offerings are available here.
We’d like to extend a giant round of thanks to all of the individuals we have had the opportunity to work with throughout 2012 so far. It’s been a really, really exciting first two quarters and we’re working on some of the most engaging projects of our careers, both large and small. Thanks, one and all!
We just created a new website and identity for BeBespoke, a new experience atelier business in Tokyo.
I’m currently working on a collaborative poster series with master of disaster Ed Fella in which we make visual form go head-to-head. Exciting times!
Bang your head! Some of Wordshape’s most popular fonts are available at a 50% discount this month from MyFonts! Perfect for music packaging, identity work and movie packaging/titling, the “Metal Militia” packs the visual equivalent of a Marshall stack! Check out the sale here!
We’ve undertaken an exciting new project with our pal Jared Braiterman PhD of Tokyo Green Space that catalogs over 500 Japanese gardens outside of Japan for Nodai, the Tokyo University of Agriculture.
We’re really excited to be working with Jared. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Tokyo University. Jared is a Harvard and Stanford trained design anthropologist who has worked in university education, start-up consulting, social media, and urban planning in Japan, the Americas, and Europe.
Open Skateboards has a few team decks out now on sale.
I’ll be presenting tonight at the Magazine Library special edition of PechaKucha Night in Daikanyama. The topic: A Dozen Publications That Changed My Life.
We’ve relaunched our web journal Néojaponisme with @font-face integration, a bespoke mobile theme and enhanced readability.
Cameron McKean and I did a lengthy cross interview for the latest issue of 360 magazine from China- out soon.
We put up a small mobile-friendly site redesign for our pals Upswell in Portland recently.
We just finished up an identity for the P.INC Patio, a new summer restaurant in Penticton, British Columbia in Canada that will open in a few scant months…
Smythe Sans and a whole bunch of other new Wordshape fonts are now available via Fontspring, the indie webfont provider alternative.
Last year we released the font Kirimomi Swash Italic, which was a runaway smash hit- it’s a free font whose creation was sponsored by Onitsuka Tiger. We just reached 35,000 downloads from our assorted distributors, which, in my book, is total brutality. So, to celebrate, I put together an accompanying Jannon-inspired Roman serif that is available now from MyFonts.com.
I’ll be giving a presentation on the secret life of American type designer Oswald Bruce Cooper at TypeCon 2012 in Milwaukee this year. The conference is from July 31st through August 5th. Yuki and I will both be in attendance. Come hang out with us!
More at the Typecon website.
We recently designed new business cards for the three of us, and were paid the ultimate print design compliment in return- our business cards are some of the featured items over at FPO this week. Huzzah!
We got a great huge package of zines in the mail from the intrepid Elly Blue of Taking The Lane zine fame this week. It’s so great to see our fonts put to such great use!
New poster design for my band Redskins.
Also, I was recently interviewed by the nice folks over at ID Institute in Germany. Read it here.
I co-edited and contributed a few essays to Idea Magazine‘s new feature about New Wave/PostPunk independent publications, on newsstands any day now…
One is called “Dot Gain” and is an introduction to independent publications in the late 70s and the early 80s.
The second is a hybrid essay/interview with WET magazine founder Leonard Koren about WET and his life and times.
Special thanks to Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein for their assistance in researching the essay!
Just did a quickie project for the notorious Tokyo Art Beat: some quick OpenType scripting to swap out lining numerals for non-lining numerals in their house font.
An oldie but a goodie: my typeface Rubber Vloeren in use in a commercial by Brand New School for the American National Pork Board circa years ago. See it here.
I have a whole heap of writing in the new issue of Slanted Magazine. My dear friend and roomie Patrick Tsai is featured, as well.
My latest deck graphic for Lesque just came out- it’s Junichi Arahata’s latest pro model. In use: my font Pompeian Cursive.
I received a few samples of recent projects done by Bruce Brand of the fabulous Arthole in the mail- excellent examples of my Wordshape fonts in use! Bruce has done tons of great design work for folks like Wreckless Eric, The Whites Stripes, Thee Headcoats, The Darkness and others.
Fancy new signage by Joshu+Vela.
Ages ago I designed a tee shirt for the British clothing startup Yutaka Tajima and it just saw the light of day here.
Thanks to Bob and the team for making it happen.
Also, we recently designed, animated and produced a small promotional screencast-based video for myGengo, an exciting Tokyo-based startup which has an exciting track record of providing really amazing human-based translation services. You can see the animation here.
Big thanks to Hiroto, Lisa, Matt and the myGengo team!
(And seriously, use them for translation.)
You can see a recent PechaKucha Night lecture I did about Cuban lettering here.
For the month of March, my new typeface family SmytheSans is on sale over at MyFonts- get the entire family for only $120 instead of the usual $300.
I have some work in the new book chronicling the shifting identity of Yutaka Tajima, a small British apparel concern run by Sanderson Bob (ex-The Designers Republic) and friends.
Do you enjoy reading about graphic design? Then, boy, do I have a treat for you!
Until they’re gone, essentially, I’ll send you a copy of The Space Is The Place Supplement – my 52-page booklet of writing about design, aesthetics and architecture for free- you just have to pony up the cost of postage (¥200 in Japan, $3.00 internationally via Paypal to email@example.com).
The booklet was printed in an edition of 1,000 using a gradated split-fountain technique, creating gradated printing throughout. 500 were printed with fluorescent green cover stock and 500 with fluorescent yellow cover stock.
Within, you’ll find writing on the work of designer Kiyoshi Awazu, Japanese Modernism, Arcosanti and a fair amount of other concerns.
My new font Kommisar is on sale for the next month over at MyFonts! $16.25 only for March!
I wrote the preface for the latest book of collected graphic design from Sandu Media/Gingko Press- it’s called Mini Graphics II and will be available from finer booksellers everywhere in a moment!
The latest video I directed for Onitsuka Tiger, “Genten Episode 2: Milestones / 軌跡” is out now. The Japanese version is here.
The SmytheSans font family is now available via MyFonts!
My font Devil’s Advocate in use in the new CalArts newspaper, the CalArts Eye.
I was recently interviewed at ID-Institute. Read it here.
Just released: my new typeface family SmytheSans.
SmytheSans is the result of a year-long inquiry into exploring a contemporary sans serif that is eminently readable on-screen and in print. It features a large x-height, ample yet economic spacing for capitals, small caps, a Central and Eastern European character set and is offered in five weights: thin, ultra light, light, regular and bold.
These are offset by matching italic and oblique cuts of each weight to give designers more variation- the italic has flared, calligraphically-inspired terminals and is a true italic, while the oblique is more mechanical in appearance. (In reality, the “oblique” is actually an italic as well due to the single-storied nature of the the “a” of the typeface, though it’s just easier to call it an “oblique” rather than “italic 2”.)
The typeface also includes five weights of a retro-futuristic display face called SmytheSans Display that bring in more idiosyncratic characters for display setting- a NASA-inspired space age “A”, a decorative “double-V” treatment for the “W”, and a whole lot more.
The lighter weights are slightly slimmer than the regular and bold weights to give the typeface more of a vertical feel, inviting readers’ to rapidly read typeset text with a maximum of contrast and a minimum of optical dazzle. The entire family was given rigorous testing using Craig Mod’s Bibliotype html-based book layout system for on-screen rendering checks and innumerable print proofs using actual text (not Greek) in InDesign.
For a very limited time, Wordshape alone is offering SmytheSans as an entire family in OpenType format for half-price: 20 fonts for only $200. Each weight of SmytheSans is offered at $20 per through other distributors, so licensing through Wordshape is the most affordable option out there! Go get ’em!
My font Clobber Grotesk in use for the upcoming Amersand Web Typography conference in the UK. (Scroll to the bottom and choose “Swiss” as your language).
One of my absolute favorite clients is the bag- and accessory-maker Joshu + Vela, a small shop based in San Francisco. Noah Guy, the man behind the magic, and his group of cohorts make amazing crafted leather goods by hand in their San Francisco workshop.
They’ve been having a fair amount of success as of late, their wares having been picked up by the Banana Republic for distribution, as well as having won over a number of new stockists. It’s all the well-earned result of years of hard labor, day jobs and having friends pitch in. It’s a hard-won success, but one that I am proud to have been a part of.
Joshu+Vela’s products are things that I not only “believe in” (“believe in” is the term trotted out by marketing types at the drop of a hat), but use every single damn day. One of their belts holds my pants up day-in and day-out and one of their wallets houses my cash.
The point? Rad stuff. Go check out their new collection.
New poster for PechaKucha Night Tokyo‘s upcoming event.
I edited the interview and massive retrospective of the work of legendary Swiss graphic designer Bruno Monguzzi for the latest issue of Idea Magazine #351.
Available internationally from Wordshape.
Better late than never, I just gave Viewers Like You a little graphic facelift. Max Erdenberger and I started VLU in 2006. 50,000 viewers strong…
As mentioned recently, I served as a judge and on the editorial committee for this year’s Asia Pacific Design Awards. The books that serve as the repository of all of the winning work came in the other day and are currently being distributed to the prospective winners.
These books are massively heavy- if dropped from shoulder height, you could very easily crush a small mammal. If you were to do this, however, you’d stain the beautiful embossed fabric-bound hardcover binding and potentially mar the gleaming gold-leafed docked edges of the pages. This is decidedly not a modest book – it is a celebration of the best that Asian graphic design has to offer at present, and via page count, bespoke material choices and the sheer quality of work within, celebrates it in style.
The official blurb about the Awards:
As a top representative of graphic design in Asia-Pacific region, APD collects excellent graphic designs from Asian countries or regions and those along Pacific Ocean. APD aims at promoting design in Asia-Pacific Region and providing good opportunities for excellent designers to stand out. It is the seventh volume this year in 2011. APD No. 7 continuously follows the publishing concept of original design and collects more excellent graphic designs. Putting outstanding designs on display, APD forges an interactive platform for exchanges and communication within the circles. It covers seven categories, respectively, visual identity, orientation system, type, poster, packaging, print, logo and graphics & extended product.
My choices for some of the top Japanese graphic design projects of the year included work by:
Benjamin Thomas / Bentographics
Congratulations to the Award winners this year. You all do such beautiful, thoughtful work.
You can read more about the awards and order the book here.
The new logo and identity for PechaKucha‘s Global Cities Week launched yesterday. It’s a week-long celebration of the cities that host PechaKucha Night events all over the world.
I’ll be doing a casual presentation on lettering that I spotted around Cuba during my recent trip to the place where Americans aren’t supposed to go this Wednesday at PechaKucha Night Tokyo.
Last year I collaborated with Dwayne Dixon on creating a video framework to be used for Duke University’s video modules for training students in ethnographic fieldwork. Dwayne has gone through and filled out all of the modules into a comprehensive series of training videos to help students understand the ethical conduct of research with human subjects. Giant thanks to Dwayne, Lorna and the rest of the Duke team!
Client Little Bird, a bistro in Portland, Oregon, just got a swell writeup in the New York Times. See it here.
Just finished a slew of new book cover designs for Microcosm- first, the cover for Joe Biel’s new book of interviews Beyond The Music.
Next is a redesign of the cover for Stephen Duncombe’s seminal Notes from Underground.
Final is Joey Torrey’s Bamboozled.
New: Collaborative redesign of Tokyo club SuperDeluxe’s website with CPOS, running on their bespoke CMS.
I recently finished up the identity design for Tokyo Fashion Week 2013, alongside global initiatives like Tokyo Fashion Week in Italy and Tokyo Fashion Week in India. The logo is comprised of letterforms from a custom typeface that combines the geometric rationality of Futura with a more humanist sensibility.
Danish professor Thomas Mejer Hansen used one of my patterns for Néojaponsime for his recent paper “Inverse problems with non-trivial priors: Efficient solution through Sequential Gibbs Sampling”, co-authored with Knud Skou Cordua and Klaus Mosegaard. This essay examines how an analysis of pattern can allow incorporation of prior information of arbitrary complexity, or how to analyze patterns using proposed algorithms.
I wrote the introduction essay “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down” for the new book Big Brand Theory, published by Sandu Media and Gingko Press. Check it out here and here.
I also recently judged the Asia Pacific Design Awards for the second time. More on that shortly…
… and my film “E-Waste” will be featured in the upcoming Sustainable Living Film Festival in Istanbul.
Client Don Blanquito, finds himself the subject of a New York Times feature and mini-doc. Congrats, Alex!
My work for Too Much Magazine is on display in London currently for the much-lauded Archizines exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.
I have two new essays in Slanted Magazine #16, the latest issue of the German typography magazine.
One, “Hoofin’ It”, is about shoes, style, authenticity and the age of look and feel.
The other is called “Top Down” and is a look at urbanism, population density and Japanese typography.
In the summer of 2011, I headed to Kobe with Toshiki Senoue and Ippu Sansan to shoot a trio of videos documenting ASICS employee and blogger Mutaurwa Mapondera as he visited the birthplace of Onitsuka Tiger for the first time. The first episode is up now– one of the final brand stories for Onitsuka Tiger crafted with AQ for the year.
For all of November and December, all Wordshape orders of physical goods (Idea Magazine, books and posters) will receive a free copy of The Space Is The Place Supplement.
The latest font release from Wordshape, sponsored by Onitsuka Tiger is out now.
Read all about it, then download it at Néojaponisme.
Onick is the latest typeface resulting from a collaboration with Onitsuka Tiger and Néojaponisme, released by my type foundry Wordshape.
A handful of new projects have been added to the site, notably a new website for Tokyo architecture firm Klein Dytham architecture. The website comes as an accompaniment to KDa’s new projects designing a suite of Sony stores, Google’s Japan HQ and an array of new projects.
Also updated: the Space Is The Place button set, a CD design for Tokyo/Toronto band The Universal Moment, an editorial illustration for Plam Magazine and book design for Walls of Pride, about African American public art in Portland.
We just finished up another big project for Google- something that has consumed a few months worth of time and which we are proud of, but alas, can’t talk about other than saying “We work with Google”, which in itself is pretty great.