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The World of Satō Kashiwa, Creative Director (Photos)

Satō Kashiwa [Profile]

Satō Kashiwa’s ambitious “iconic branding” projects span a wide range of media, industries, and themes, but they are consistent in the freshness and dynamism of their forms and the terse eloquence of the nonverbal language they use to communicate across cultures.

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of Satō Kashiwa’s work is its range. As creative director, Satō has redesigned corporate logos, restructured architectural spaces, rebranded cultural institutions, and even revitalized local industries.

For Satō, the job of creative direction is not about self-expression. It is the fruit of his professionalism, the product of a commitment to finding the best possible solution to the challenges facing his clients.

“It’s not the scale of your work that matters,” he says. “It’s the sharpness of the concept you deliver to society.”

The way Satō achieves sharpness is by identifying the crux of the problem and designing iconic forms that marshal the power of visual signals to break through cultural and linguistic barriers. The goal is instantaneous communication. This is the essence of the design philosophy that Satō calls “iconic branding.”

(Originally published in Japanese on March 17, 2017. Text by Kiyono Yumi. Banner photo: Fuji Kindergarten, Tachikawa, Tokyo.)

  • [2017.03.22]

Creative director; visiting professor, Faculty of Environmental and Information Studies, Keio University; visiting professor, Tama Art University. Born in 1965. Graduated from the Department of Graphic Design,Tama Art University. After 11 years at advertising giant Hakuhōdō, opened his own studio, Samurai, in 2000. Professional services range from graphic design and product design to art direction, branding, and spatial planning. Author of Satō Kashiwa no chō seiri jutsu (Satō Kashiwa’s Ultimate Art of Pinpointing the Essentials), Satō Kashiwa no uchiawase (Satō Kashiwa’s Planning Meetings), and other works. Winner of numerous awards, including the Mainichi Design Award, Asahi Advertising Grand Prix, and Design for Asia Award. Appointed fiscal 2016 Japan cultural envoy by the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

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