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Work / Graphic Design

Kobayashi Ikki’s striking hand-crafted designs are inspired by Japanese graffiti

Japanese graphic designer Kobayashi Ikki’s experimental graphic prints fill his Instagram in a sweep of striking monochrome. Created mainly using black and blue pen on paper, the works are inspired by traditional Japanese emblems and graffiti, and their clean lines and dense colour are oddly satisfying.

Depicting various shapes and symbols including faces, arrows, hands, vases and woodland animals, Kobayashi relies on his instincts to get his images right. “Before making a work I will try to come up with various ideas. Then while drawing, I’ll decide on the shapes – for me it’s important I trust my hand,” says Kobayashi. “I like to make a work as if a child is playing, they make funny ideas that adults can not imagine so I always want to keep that feeling in my work.”

The hand-crafted element is important to the designer and it’s something he wants to continue experimenting with. “I don’t think I’ll stick to a particular style as I want to try lots of different things. But I do want to stick to creating work by hand because it allows me to make powerful, beautiful designs,” says Kobayashi.

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