A set of icons that reflect the subtle aesthetics of the renowned Japanese household goods retailer



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.

Icon Design

Karen Cheng

2017, Spring


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.


Their inconsistent iconography on full display on this tote bag.


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

From rough sketches to refined vectors

My initial renderings were 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.


Icons from our first critique next to the MUJI tote bag from earlier.


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.


The final display board mimicking how these products seamlessly integrate with one another in daily life.


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


There is nothing flashy or eye-catching about my icons. The best design is often the one that does the job most unassumingly.