However charming MUJI may be, their iconography has always been inconsistent. This set of symbols is my take on icons that are representative of the practical beauty of MUJI products. They may be used for a myriad of applications.

However charming MUJI may be, their iconography has always been inconsistent. This set of symbols is my take on icons that are representative of the practical beauty of MUJI products. They may be used for a myriad of applications.

Advised by:
Karen Cheng

Completed:
Spring 2017

Advised by:
Karen Cheng

Completed:
Spring 2017

MUJI_SetAnimationC

All 15 icons, animated.

All 15 icons, animated.

Righting the wrongs of MUJI's iconography

The line weights of their icons aren't uniform, corners are both sharp and rounded, and the level of detail spans the whole gamut from simple outlines to showing complex components. For a company that has been so heavily invested in its design from the beginning, it's puzzling how MUJI's icons ended up in this state.

Righting the wrongs of MUJI's iconography

The line weights of their icons aren't uniform, corners are both sharp and rounded, and the level of detail spans the whole gamut from simple outlines to showing complex components. For a company that has been so heavily invested in its design from the beginning, it's puzzling how MUJI's icons ended up in this state.

MUJI_OldBag

Their inconsistent iconography on full display on this tote bag.

Their inconsistent iconography on full display on this tote bag.

MUJI_ElectricKettle

Naoto Fukasawa's appliances were the inspiration for the visual language of my icons.

Naoto Fukasawa's appliances were the inspiration for the visual language of my icons.

From rough sketches to refined vectors

My initial rendering where kept rough. At this point in the process, I was still determining which products to include and what styles I wanted to move forward with. It was clear from the first rounds of critique that anything too rigid or complex was out of the question as it wouldn't reflect MUJI's subtle design characteristics.

I chose 15 of MUJI's best selling items to further explore for their flexibility of uses in all sorts of applications, such as printed materials, merchandise, and motion.

From rough sketches to refined vectors

My initial rendering where kept rough. At this point in the process, I was still determining which products to include and what styles I wanted to move forward with. It was clear from the first rounds of critique that anything too rigid or complex was out of the question as it wouldn't reflect MUJI's subtle design characteristics.

I chose 15 of MUJI's best selling items to further explore for their flexibility of uses in all sorts of applications, such as printed materials, merchandise, and motion.

MUJI_Critique

Icons from first critique next to the MUJI tote bag.

Icons from first critique next to the MUJI tote bag.

MUJI_Process

The main stages my icons underwent from loose hand drawings to simplified vectors.

The main stages my icons underwent from loose hand drawings to simplified vectors.

Icon applications

I wanted my icons to be used for a variety of purposes. Here is a selection of applications ranging from posters to a new and refined tote bag.

Icon applications

I wanted my icons to be used for a variety of purposes. Here is a selection of applications ranging from posters to a new and refined tote bag.

Muji_Poster

Display board mimicking how these products seamlessly integrate with one another in daily life.

Display board mimicking how these products seamlessly integrate with one another in daily life.

MUJI_Environment2
MUJI_ToteBag

I've gotta say, this tote bag is quite nice when compared to MUJI's.

I've gotta say, this tote bag is quite nice when compared to MUJI's.

Reflection

Despite me being a frequent shopper at MUJI, I had no insights regarding the philosophies that made up their brand. It was only after reading Jasper Morrison's monograph on MUJI, and thus making more informed design decisions that I had captured the essence of MUJI. There is nothing flashy or eye-catching about my icons. The best design is often the one that does the job most unassumingly.

Reflection

Despite me being a frequent shopper at MUJI, I had no insights regarding the philosophies that made up their brand. It was only after reading Jasper Morrison's monograph on MUJI, and thus making more informed design decisions that I had captured the essence of MUJI. There is nothing flashy or eye-catching about my icons. The best design is often the one that does the job most unassumingly.

MUJI_Monograph

Jasper Morrison's MUJI monograph was helpful in getting to the core of MUJI's design sensibilities.

Jasper Morrison's MUJI monograph was helpful in getting to the core of MUJI's design sensibilities.