Harugo no Mayu is a new Tokyo-based service that works with selected artists to produce high-quality limited edition prints. The artworks are unique to HNM and are printed carefully on beautiful Washi paper and then shipped globally. At the start of each season HNM announces the five artworks that will be sold in a one-of run of 30, the prints are reasonably priced with a focus on high-quality production. All the selected artists are connected to Japan whether they are Japanese, or people living in Japan. The name Harugo no Mayu translates as the “spring silkworm’s cocoon” – the idea behind this was that the project was born at a time artists are in lockdown working in isolation.
Harley Johnston Design was approached to create a brand identity to help launch HNM. We focused on the Japanese roots, exploring many visual references whilst being careful to avoid clichés and tropes. The logo takes inspiration from both Japanese Kamon (family crests) as well as the zen art of rock gardens where careful raking leaves concentric lines around pretruding feature stones. The colour scheme draws on traditional Ukiyo-e prints with a focus on the white from cocoons.
Simplon Mono Regular in uppercase was chosen as the main display font for its mix of simplicity, being fairly monolinear – echoing the line work – and its industrial feel, it also worked well for the logo symbol due to its proportions. Halyard Text and Display are used as a supporting family for lower-level text, as seen on the website. PingFang SC is used for Japanese text.