Keita Takemura did the design for Ishimura+Neichi, a Tokyo-based emerging architectural firm, and commissioned them to develop a web design-based identity and design system.
Given that they will be exhibiting at an exhibition in Switzerland in November 2022, Ishimura+Neichi needed to create a website with a global appeal. In discussions with them, Keita Takemura realized that they also needed to create a logotype and business card design based on the web design system that formed the visual identity of Ishimura+Neichi. As young architects in the industry, Ishimura+Neichi saw this as an opportunity to gain global recognition, and they needed to take on the challenge of combining an unprecedented combination of outstanding visuals with a practical design system.
The first priority for Ishimura+Neichi was to make their presence, information, and branding recognizable and memorable. As a result, the first view has a high-impact logotype and lists all of their data. The use of fluid animation enabled the design to be both dynamic and informative. The typeface is pivotal to the adoption of this typographic design system. The English typeface is Noi Grotesk by Studio Feixen, and the Japanese typeface is Tazugane Info by Monotype. The logotype is also composed of Noi Grotesk, whose typeface is described as “the traditional Swiss model with a new sense of playful friendliness.”We also needed a Japanese typeface to complement Noi Grotesk, so we went with Tazugane Info.
The Japanese language has a history of being used vertically and horizontally, and many Japanese typefaces are designed for horizontal and vertical writing. Tazugane Info, however, specializes in horizontal letterforms in response to modern digital design culture, making it the perfect typeface for digital expression. Keita Takemura was successful in selecting the best typefaces that complement Noi Grotesk.
Japanese typography has an even more interesting cultural heritage, with a long-standing culture of ‘Japanese-English mixed typesetting.’ By using English typefaces for the alphabet and Japanese typefaces for the Japanese language, we pay tribute to the typeface designers who grew up in each of these cultures. In doing so, it is necessary to adjust the font size, kerning, etc. for each language.
While this culture is commonplace in the field of print design, it is not yet recognized in the field of digital design, and this project is a challenge to create Japanese-English mixed typesetting in digital design. By using the Japanese text as a base, scaling up the English text by 10%, and adjusting the spacing of each English word, the studio was able to lay out the English and Japanese text on the same page in a clean and consistent manner.
Another challenge was shifting from an existing portfolio-type web gallery to a next-generation Instagram-based website. Nowadays, brands actively use Instagram to communicate with their audiences, and Ishimura+Neichi is no exception, claiming that reaching out through Instagram has triggered many of their projects. With so many resources spent on Instagram, the hassle of updating their website was a waste of time for them, and they needed a solution. So, with the ultimate goal of driving users to Instagram, they designed a system that only displays the Instagram gallery on the website, daring not to include detailed project details and stimulating users’ intellectual curiosity.
As a result of a dynamic and informative visual design with beautiful typography and directing users to Instagram, they were able to realize a sophisticated visual communication design in a practical way that had never been seen before.