The cover design for April was created by Kaori Kojima aka KOJIKO, formally a member of harmonica bldg. and now a solo graphic designer based in Hokkaido. She has been working on posters, ad visuals and logo designs, and makes poems under the name LOUD, a group established with a photographer. Her expression in both visuals and words will bring you a soft moment of time. The new mobile art watch project designed by Kaori Kojima will be available from April 9th (in Japan only).

Kaori KojimaKaori Kojima
Photo: minaco.

Please introduce yourself.

Kaori Kojima. I was born in Tomakomai, Hokkaido and now live in Sapporo. People often call me KOJIKO. I’m a graphic designer working at a design production, Onishi Advertising Office in Sapporo and also create my own works.

Kaori Kojima
Poster for folie a deux

Could you tell us your recent activities?

I just finished flyer work for a theatrical performance which will take place at Bar Dahlia from April 20 for 7 days. They will attempt to perform at the bar counter and the audience will watch the cast’s performance at the tables.
The show will eventually make you feel love towards the people that surround you.
I’m now working on opening materials and a tabloid for bridal use for a restaurant bar “FINCH OF AMAZING DINING” which will be opened at Mercure Hotel in June. I created them with an image of a kind of bird finch which is where the bar’s name came from. The restaurant bar is a great place for bridal parties and is a nice place with an antique interior.

Kaori Kojima
Opening materials for FINCH OF AMAZING DINER

How did you decide to become a graphic designer?

Since I was a kid, I liked to draw. In my high school days, I used to imitate drawings of my favorite artists works and album jacket works. I wondered how this jacket work was made, I want to make it someday, etc. At that time I decided to go to art school as I was influenced by one senior student who draws well and who went to an art school. Since then I have been interested in graphic design and here I am. So the elder student is the person who gave me an opportunity to become a graphic designer.

Kaori Kojima
Poster for Kotobuki Coffee

You’ve done advertising visuals and logo designs before. Please introduce some of your past works.

I made a symbol and logo for a coffee shop “Kotobuki Coffee”. I was inspired by the Japanese distinctive coffee culture and value. Kissaten (coffee shop) is one of the ideas. I know Kotobuki Coffee cherishs the idea. So I took the idea into my design. The form is made with images of coffee beans and coffee.
As my personal work, I have worked on posters for the poster exhibition and postcards for bridal announcement. Also I created apple-made character “me.” which has appeared on the cover art of SHIFT.

Among your visual works including posters, I thought your simple visual expression creates and delivers direct messages to the viewers. What is your most important thing when creating posters?

To make clear what needs to be conveyed within a limited period of time, I always try to have time to examine the design once I’ve concluded. But something intuitive is one of the most important things too. I think something made with a manual that could be logically solved is a distant idea.

You participated in Sapporo Art Stage 2008 last fall. What did you exhibit when you participated in the show “Young 200 Artists Exhibition” as a part of “500m Museum”?

I made two works: one is an image of animals using symmetrical ink blot something like used in the Rorschach test and another is a work titled Sogen (means as field) using green palette painted on a piece of sketch book. It was my first time to represent own art works, and in return I got a hint from it for my design work. After this show I actually made a Rorschach style of symmetrical Kanji work and also new year post card with an idea of using a piece of sketch book.

Kaori Kojima
Postcard for home

I read that you also write poems as a duo LOUD. Could you tell us about your activities as LOUD? Are there any differences between expression in words (poems) and visual expression?

It started in 2007 to show personal works on my blog with my friend, kirin who lives in London and I irregularly post a photo and words. As LOUD we want to create a kind of one scene from a cinema which might be imagined by someone at somewhere at this moment. Actually kirin and I have never met. But we have been good friends even though we are in different contexts. It’s been already 7-8 years since we met on the web for the first time through our works with each other.
One of the differences between poems and visuals is my consciousness on each output. I think I take the plunge more to express in words. For visual works I consider the audience to be the top priority. In that sense, as LOUD I’m more intuitive and express more artistry. That why I sometimes think “people might be intimidated by my words” (laughs). But I think we need to have something weak and miserable.

What are you inspired by when you produce visual and poem works?

Conversation and emails communicating with friends, my boyfriend, family. Music becomes a good friend and supports my creation. Mis-visualizing a visual momentally. Playing on words started from a slip of the tongue. Ideas come from a sort of concidental happening.

Please name us your favorite artists, books, music.

Aubrey Vincent Beardsley, Tim Walker, Marcelo Krasilcic, Masayoshi Nakajo, Kazunari Hattori, Machizo Machida, Miroku Journal, unwound, Blonde Redhead
I have many more fovorites.

Kaori Kojima
Cover design for shift, Photo: minaco. Flash movie: kaori kojima, kazuhiro kikuch

What was your concept for the cover design?

I always feel fresh surprises with SHIFT. I wanted to express it somehow in a way which we can enjoy it as well. So I made an animation with fresh apples. In Japan we have a sashimi cuisine called Ikizukuri that is a dish of fresh sashimi decorated with the fresh and living tail and head of the fish, it is a bit of a cruel cuisine. And I got an idea from the dish. The apple is so fresh that the pieces of apples started to move around!

Do you have your own fashion style that you’re concerned about? Do you think to explore your creation into the fashion world?

It will be ok if I become happy to put on clothes which I like. I like cheap used ones as well as brand ones. It would be wonderful to have opportunities to collaborate with fashion brands in the future. I’m interested in textile design including a printed skirt, dress, bag, kimono.

Do you have anything new that you want to try?

For the SHIFT cover design I did an animation for the first time and it was fun. I want to try with people in the next time. And I want to collaborate again with minaco. who has always taken wonderful photos. I also want to try book cover design.

Please tell us your upcoming plans.

I want to do an exhibition this year.
I’m going to meet nice people and art works.

Kaori Kojima

Text: Mariko Takei

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