Web Studio AIC has prepared for vc.ru translation of the article Mary Streble about the major trends in Japanese graphic and web design. Take a look at the national flag of Japan is a bright color contrast and simple geometry. Beautiful, elegant and very original on the background of European flags and crosses, though.
Now forget about the flag — it Japanese minimalism exhausted, and begins the chaos. Culture of Japan brings together incompatible. Flowering gardens and skyscrapers, martial arts and tea ceremonies. In design everything is subject to the same logic — an endless jumble of incongruous.
And so — in everything from outdoor advertising to graphic design. In each direction can be traced the same trends that Mary Stribel made in the list of 10. We have adapted the article for our readers, and supplemented it with examples of web design.
Japan abounds with color — love the diversity inherent in the subcortex of each resident. The Japanese not only the explosion of colors that give billboards the streets of Tokyo, so every Sunday they have cosplay gatherings in the area of Harajuku. With flowers in outdoor advertising, everything is simple. Layout painted in white or red, and the entire width of the inserted text.
For images is not the place. In graphic design there is no such restriction. The more colors and the higher the saturation the better: The Japanese unknown to our European ideas about color harmony, they rarely stop at two or three shades.
No one is afraid of the conflict of colors and overwhelmed the pictures — it is believed that the more colors in the layout, the more it lives. Web design is also replete with color:
Another characteristic of Japanese design — the simultaneous use of kanji and Latin alphabet. Often words in different languages overlap each other in order to attract attention and force readers to examine the layout longer: Such advertising works in business districts where widespread communication in English. It stands out from the General mass, while understandable to a native speaker, and the alien gaze focuses on familiar characters and the message is read.
Of course, the format of the puzzle to us, to Europeans, unusual. In the web the confusion of languages is also considered the norm — it often happens that the section titles and headings are written in Latin: In the Japanese language 50 thousands of hieroglyphs, of which only three thousand are in the lexicon of modern Japanese.
In fact, much less — high school graduate needs to know 1,945 kanji characters, and writing of names and surnames to be guided by the list of “zimeye-kanji” — it 861 sign. This list is based on Japanese typography. The texts can meet other characters, but this happens very rarely. The Japanese language is so complex that it is easier to draw the desired characters by hand than each time to develop a full-fledged font.
Among designers there is no space in the choice of style, but they almost dont hear the phrase “play with fonts” It seems that the restrictions do not relate to Japanese typography web design: This feature of the design required a traditional Japanese calligraphy — characters are displayed with a brush, with brush strokes should be rough and clear.
No edits are not allowed, you must correctly portray all of the characters from the first time. Otherwise calligraphy you will lose all the poetry. Calligraphy is transferred to sites. Generally, in view of the fact that the characters themselves are iconographic, Japanese web, no need for icons.
Typography replaces them: Another common technique in Japanese graphic design — using gradients. Designers actively enliven their background and headers. Works General color principle.
The more colors, the better your job. Unlike our design, the Japanese are not so eager to exploit gradients in the web. Except that is a site with suitable illustration and without a gradient there, it was impossible to do:
Flowers in Japanese culture — its a cult. Plants are directly connected with ideas and characters. Even the color of the petals bear a sacred meaning. Pink flowers are associated with health, and white — with honor and protect. Not accidentally ceremonial form of Japanese officers white.
Thus, the floral motifs in the chart not only perform a decorative function, but have a hidden meaning. In web design find floral themes, too easy:
Another common element of Japanese design — the circle. It symbolizes balance and harmony, so often used in heraldry (remember the flag). If the circle is the image, it almost always obeys the laws of symmetry: Axial symmetry is often used in branding and creation of logos.
The circle itself may be absent, but the overall balance is maintained. The logo of Mitsubishi is built on this principle: Japanese designers always follow the law of symmetry, the result is circular motifs can purchase this form.
Even in web design the Japanese try to visually divide the layout into two similar halves, such as here: Remember the Japanese cartoons with adorable characters — this whole culture called kawaii. Anime heroes are found in advertising, branding, and product design.
For example, here is the packing pic of one of the local companies: Natalie Avella, author of Graphic Japan, said. “The Japanese often try to defuse the situation due to the popular and funny characters. This allows brands to build effortless communication and develop a close relationship with the client.”.
Cute cartoon characters, of course, occur in the web on this site who won at the competition of Awwwards. A big part of Japanese design is overloaded with text, especially web theres no place minimalism. Why.
The answer again give cultural characteristics. The Japanese cant distinguish between the top and each story is accompanied by the smallest details. The website of the Japanese is e-seller, a representative of the company. He should tell about the product, all without losing a single detail.
Hence such a bulky web page: Typical Japanese website — chaos killed usability. But thats the way the people of China are accustomed to perceive information. It normally.
Another example is the poster for the Japanese exhibition. The text inscribed in the overall geometry and symmetry of figure. Lets fantasize, no matter how much European customers responded, “yeah, fine, Ill take it!”.
In this trend design United all other. The layout elements overlap each other — so the designer creates dynamics in the picture: Sites use this technique metered — apparently in order not to overburden the user.
The main way to attract attention is the animation combined with a rich filling. Here everything we have is: To highlight Japanese design basic visual features is not easy. The Japanese look at the world differently and differently interpret the design as such.
Most importantly, what can they have to learn not to be afraid of experiments. Send your speakers and front-end cases [email protected]