Okuyama Taiki is a Japanese graphic designer incorporating a sense of liveliness and fun into his creative practice. While running a novelty book store in Tokyo that was free (a rather foreign concept over here) Okuyama became interested in the values of exchange that led to a career in design. The book store became a place “to share new values, form new communities and create new creations”, explains Okuyama. This attitude translates over to his designs that frequently take on multiple meanings in their visual communication. Okuyama’s projects depend on what is peaking the designer’s interests at that time, recently delving into the disciplines of art, music and agriculture.
A versatile creative, Okuyama tells It’s Nice That that his interests lie in projects that “bring a new awareness”, evidently expressed in the range of design output. From a branding identity for a strawberry farm, to a series of animated visuals for a Japanese rock band, Okuyama finds an appropriate means of communication for each brief individually. All the designer’s projects however, have one thing in common: communication is the main intention of the design, whatever the medium may be. “Communication between information and people, and between people and people, is the most important issue to me”, says the graphic designer.
This emphasis is seen in two of his projects, Playing Body Player as well as in the visuals for Owarhythm Benkai. Firstly, Playing Body Player is the visual identity for an exhibition of the same title organised by Seijo University of Art and Design. The exhibition showcases writers and artists explicitly using the body as a performative means of expression. Okuyama’s logo and identity reflects the use of the body through the fluid lines that denote physical, languid movement. The design is both contemporary with its deconstructed typeface yet maintains its roots in Japanese, minimalist design with the restricted colours and generous use of white space. Additionally, the rhythmic headline continues through to the pamphlet’s contents through the warped images and text boxes, creating a satisfyingly, uniform visual identity.
For the visuals for the Japanese rock band Owarhythm Benkai, Okuyama pays tribute to the neon signage aesthetic. He concisely engages the viewer with the use of looping colours that aren’t too in your face while still grabbing attention; utilising the medium of gifs to simply animate striking visuals which in turn, maximises on intrigue.
- Can graphic design translate to performance? LCC's grad show identity shows us it can
- Gina Tonic on being big, Welsh and growing up in an ex-mining town in The Valleys
- Margot Lévêque examines the historical, emotional and philosophical connotations of the collar
- Illustrator Moon utilises drawing as a means of understanding herself
- Toilet rolls and sat navs: Photographer Andy Price will make you look twice at everyday objects
- Samantha French’s dazzling underwater paintings hark back to childhood summers
- Turning her lens to those around her, Danna Singer reveals the story of a working class community
- Kyle Berger’s Photoshopped images exist in “a post-truth timeline”
- The climate crisis is daunting, but as a creative professional, there’s much you can do
- Elizabeth Hibbard’s unsettling photographs examine subjective experience with a visceral gaze
- “My creativity is sparked by music and architecture”: meet graphic designer Stephanie Specht
- Adventure Time’s finale nominated for Emmy, alongside BoJack and Big Mouth