Graphic design is the practical application of functional aesthetics and style to communications. That’s an important understanding and it’s something I always share with every client I work with, no matter how big or small, whether a startup, yoga studio, or global toy retailer.
Designing for business startups is a personal passion, because innovation fuels great design, which is why I moved from my native Japan to California. People here are constantly striving for new ways of working, thinking, and designing.
Of course, Japan is a place where people are pretty much obsessed with design – whether the purity of Zen architecture or the pop culture kitsch of Hello Kitty.
I began my formal studies in Tokyo, where I studied music theory by day and performed in a punk rock band at night. Music continues to inform my approach to the essence of design: like music, design tells a story; it has composition and structure, and most importantly, it resonates with us in a way that feels intuitive.
“A great UX design is only as good as the experience it offers to the customer. If you have to think about it before you use it, it didn’t meet its goal.”
Design and its power is a part of my DNA. It was while working in a small skateboard shop in Costa Mesa, California that I began taking on freelance web design and web development projects, blending my Japanese aesthetics with California’s entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and discovery. I lived in a small trailer in the middle of an apple orchard and devoted myself to graphic design,
with courses at Orange Coast College and later, at City College of San Francisco.
I’m a long way from Japan but I love my life here. Today, I run an independent consultancy business spanning a range of commercial projects, from hospitality and dining to e-commerce and new technology; from print editorial to mixed-media art projects.