Japanese 80s Style

A Branding Success Story | Muji

無印良品 Mujirushi Ryohin (better known as simply Muji) translates to “No Brand Quality Goods”. It is essentially a Japanese “Home Brand” or “No Frills” equivalent. However one of the reasons Muji is so much more appealing than regular “non branded” home ware and lifestyle products IS the amazing branding and attention to detail in it’s overall design.

Muji’s original Art Director, Ikko Tanaka is a Japanese graphic design legend. He designed the logo and worked with Marketing Consultant, Kazuko Koieke and Interior Designer, Takashi Sugimoto on the brand identity. Their vision during the company’s formative years in the 80s became the foundation for it’s global success.

To me, Muji is the perfect example of understated design done well. There’s a lot of consideration that goes into creating successful simple visuals. The difference between minimalist art and design looking am mature/ falling flat or being elegant and effective can be minuscule. Muji nail it every time.

In front of me right now is a Muji weekly desktop schedular, in my storage boxes are the Muji aluminium cover diaries from my high school and university years. They are plastered with rave stickers and polaroids of my design school buddies. I’m grateful that my memories are immaculately preserved thanks to their high quality products.

I recommend those of you visiting Japan to check out a Muji Cafe too (often attached to the stores). You can feast on perfectly plated, healthy and delicious canteen style meals in a calming environment, whilst listening to the ambient sounds of Ryuichi Sakamoto, (He composed in-store music for Muji). 🎶🌱😌