Kashiwa Sato sees the world through icons
Anything can be an icon. Kashiwa Sato, a famous Japanese designer, perceives the world via icons. He told the Brainstorm Design conference in Singapore.
“The purpose of branding is to create a strong identity. A strong identity is an icon. I’ve created many icons over the years. They are most important for communication. They must be simple and direct,” said Sato. He spent 11 years with Japan’s Hakuhodo advertising firm before launching his creative studio, Samurai, in 2000. He graduated from Tama University’s Graphic Design school.
He is arguably best recognised for his famous logos created with fonts and typefaces, as well as his belief that a brand should be simple, straightforward, and memorable. He draws inspiration from Japanese culture and customs in his simple approach to complicated topics. When Uniqlo’s CEO requested him to create a logo, Sato chose red and white, which he claims quickly identifies Uniqlo as Japanese because it resembles the country’s flag. He then created an English typeface based on katakana, a Japanese writing system or alphabet used to write foreign words.
“It identified Uniqlo as something unique in the global fashion industry. The logo is the fundamental aspect of the brand,” he said.
“I see everything through icons and iconic branding,” Sato added. And, as he creates more instantly recognisable logos, the rest of the world will see him more.
Horn, R. (2018, March 7). ‘A Strong Identity is an Icon’ says the Designer behind the Uniqlo logo. DesignSingapore Council. https://www.designsingapore.org/stories/a-strong-identity-is-an-icon-says-the-designer-behind-the-uniqlo-logo.html.
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