Yuna Kim incorporates the visuals of rattan wicker weaving into interior design identity

For the Seoul-based designer, the intricate and laborious process of designing the identity reflected the brand’s dedication to handmade craftsmanship.

10 May 2023

When Yuna Kim received the brief to design an identity for an exhibition of Sika-Design furniture, she knew she wanted to do things differently. While she recognised that many posters for furniture exhibitions would centre the products in their designs, Yuna instead decided that she wanted to use simpler, more ambiguous graphics to express the brand’s small details and aesthetics. And so, the designer looked at the way in which Sika-Design furniture is made – through the ancient craft of rattan wicker weaving.

The designs were to be exhibited at The Maison 2022, an interior design and lifestyle fair held at COEX Seoul, to advertise the Håndværk exhibition booth – a word which translates from Danish to ‘handicrafts’. The show was to convey the lasting value of Sika-Design, a Danish company established in 1942, a renowned producer of rattan furniture who has collaborated with esteemed designers, like Arne Jacobsen and Nanna Ditzel.

GalleryYuna Kim: Håndværk (Copyright © Yuna Kim, 2022)

There were many aspects of the brand that appealed to Yuna, and made her passionate about the project. Firstly, the Rattan tree “regenerates to its full size in five to seven years, making it a sustainable and renewable material in furniture production. Another was the brand’s use of traditional methods and handmade tools, and their “passion and commitment to continuing traditions”. It was this approach that she wanted to emulate in her design process, as well as paying homage to the aesthetics of the technique.

To achieve this, Yuna was inspired by the weaving of X shapes essential to the craft. And so, for the exhibition’s title she formed the font out of tiny X’s, giving it a unique pattern and texture and thus an interesting reading experience. Instead of creating more assets to include, Yuna used the cross-weaved font as the main visual component throughout the identity as a whole. At points, the font is decipherable as words, but at others it appears simple as a graphic pattern, a backdrop to the presentation of furniture items.

This approach comes as little surprise to us here at It’s Nice That, as when we first spoke to the designer last year, she expressed her love of “tactile” design and incorporating analogue techniques into her work. And certainly, for Yuna, one of the most satisfying parts of the project as a whole was the way in which it mirrored the rattan craft. “Although it was time-consuming to arrange the X shapes one by one, I didn’t consider it a waste of time since it expressed the brand’s craftsmanship of producing handmade furniture stitch by stitch without the help of machines,” she identifies. “I wanted the poster to resemble a piece of handicraft from afar.”

GalleryYuna Kim: Håndværk (Copyright © Yuna Kim, 2022)

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Yuna Kim: Håndværk (Copyright © Yuna Kim, 2022)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English Literature and History, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.

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