Motoi Shito designs fresh and unexpected packaging for a Japanese confectionary company
The Japanese founder of Sitoh inc. talks us through his latest project, an experimental but pared back identity created for a confectionary shop that's also known for its poultry farming.
- Ayla Angelos
- 17 December 2020
- Reading Time
- 3 minute read
There’s nothing quite like eating a delicious piece of cake, let alone if that cake comes packaged in a well-designed box. Delivering on both is the delectable products of För Ägg, a Japanese confectionary company and shop which recently worked with Motoi Shito on its packaging. Unusually, the brand is known equally for its poultry farming as for its chiffon cakes – the type that’s very light, soft like a cloud and spongey. So Motoi, the founder and art director of Japanese design consulting firm Sitoh inc., had to navigate that balance.
Simplistic in its approach, the rebrand references the “change and development from eggs to chiffon cake,” Motoi tells It’s Nice That. A detailed look at the production line from start to finish, the identity toys with the typical egg and cake signifiers, applying a stripped back look and feel.
At university, Hokkaido-born Motoi majored in business management and continued his education in graphic design alongside it. Once he graduated, Motoi gained experience working in advertising design and several design firms before taking the plunge to work on this in his own terms in 2013. After freelancing for a few years, the idea to launch and establish his design consultation firm Sitoh inc. arose in 2016, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Under guise of Sitoh inc., the firm takes on a whole host of projects, communicating ideas and design in a wide capacity spanning art direction, advertising, branding, packaging, web, products, binding and space. “Our work is based on the context of design,” he says, “where we derive themes from the business structure and improvements in a project, and continuously improve out thinking and expression through an experimental design approach.” In this way, Sitoh inc. builds on ideas and design languages that are universally easy to understand. There’s no jargon or extravagance here, just modest and good design.
As for Motoi’s inspirations, he cites the American artists Ellsworth Kelly, James Turrell, Richard Serra and Donald Judd as those that he turns to most. It’s interesting that he names this cluster of American artists as his key references, ones that suggest influences on Motoi’s eye for minimalism, object construction and space. Then, he points out how Dutch and Swiss typography have also been active players in creations of his designs. The grid system makes a large appearance throughout Motoi’s portfolio, notably within his recent branding for the confectionary shop and its structured, modernist approach with communicating.
“I created a logotype and logo mark using a cracked egg as the grid, a raw egg as the double circle and a chiffon cake as the free change of the egg,” says Motoi, explaining more behind the aesthetic decisions made. “In the typography, within the constraint of the divided double circles, the changes of individuality are utilised as a form.” He proceeds by presenting a behind-the-scenes look as to how these shapes were devised (which sadly cannot be shared), which begins with the simple semiotics associated with these objects: the poultry farm, egg, För Ägg and the chiffon cake. Noting the developments and changes between the production process, particularly how the egg transforms into an edible cake, Motoi created a grid system based off these transformations. Cut and split into structured pieces, each of the symbols and letterings were chopped into a remodelled version of its original.
The end result is far from your typical cake identity. It’s humble but smart, experimental but pared back. Full of wonderful contradictions, the packaging comes with box, bag, cards and labels, where each looks as delicious as the next. Besides drooling at the thought of eating cake, Motoi hopes that you’ll appreciate the design’s simplicity. “We are conscious of making the logo familiar,” he says, concluding on the matter. “And the typography is fresh and unexpected.”
About the Author
Ayla was an editorial assistant back in June 2017 and has continued to work with us on a freelance basis. She has spent the last seven years as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.