CREATIVE "GARDEN", Takayuki Ishii |
Art direction, Graphic design
Kazuki Yabe | Web direction, Web design
Takehiko Yanase | Produce, Promotion
Nami Ogawa | Accountant
Nobushina is a small village in Nagano prefecture, about an hour’s drive from Nagano station. Although the village used to flourish through charcoal making, forestry and hemp cultivation, it has been deteriorating due to a dwindling population. Most of the residents are over 60 and the current population is less than 130. My client is a young farmer who moved to this village with his wife and young kids. He invented brown rice coffee by combining the traditional techniques of charcoal making and rice farming. The aims of this project are to tell story of the village to customers through local branding and to attract visitors.
The main product of this local brand is brown rice coffee. The product is made solely from resources within Nobushina village. We wanted to communicate the beautiful story and village scenery through the brand, as well as referencing the traditional local craftsmanship.
Amazingly, the oldest whale fossils in history were excavated in the village. I associated this fact with a new brand concept, which is as if the whale delivers our brand message to our customers, even those who live far away from Nobushina. The logo is therefore a combination of the whale and a coffee cup. The use of black and white refers to charcoal and rice.
Nobushina is a unique Japanese place name. As a brand name it reminds customers of the village when they have bought it. Brown rice coffee is still not a well-known drink in the beverage market, therefore: when this brand becomes popular, it means that the name of the place, Nobushina, will be synonymous with name of the drink.
The picture book like design is employed in the packaging in order to allow customers to easily imagine the beautiful rural scenery of Nobushina village, as well as for it to be able to approach a wide range of customers through its form reminiscing entertainment. The tagline on the packaging says: "The rice burned by a charcoal farmer," referencing how craftsmen produced the drink.
I had never experienced life outside of the city before, and had no idea of the production methods of the drink in the village. As such, I moved there to experienced the process of manufacture first hand. I planted rice, drank with elderly people, shared knowledge, and took part in traditional celebrations. From these experiences, I realised that designers can directly influence their own lives.