Creative Conversations: Daniel Robitaille + Kenichi Matsumoto
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Daniel Robitaille: I noticed that you often have a simple and bold approach in your work. Is that something you always keep in mind when you get a new brief from a client?
Kenichi Matsumoto: It depends on the content of the work. Be Simple and Clear is my policy. Peoples have less interest in things which have no relation to themselves than they expect. That is why my design should attract peoples attention instantly, and why simple and clear are necessary conditions.
Daniel: What is the medium you prefer to use in a project and why?
Kenichi: I have no preference in media. It depends on the content of work. I always try to select most adequate medium and style for it. Concerning poster, which is seen to have finished its role in this internet age, I think it still has much possibilities because general public can see it in public space.
Daniel: Who are your graphic design influences?
Kenichi: Mr. Shigeo Fukuda. I feel always sense of humor and surprise.
Daniel: If you had to choose another country/city to work, where would it be and why?
Kenichi: Nowhere especially. However I am interested in working in countryside. I wonder if there is any demand in such place. (I was born and raised in Tokyo.)
Daniel: What project are you the most proud of and why?
Kenichi: The renewal design of packaged rice “Noh no Mai”(Dance of Agriculture). The consumption of rice in Japan is falling off, and the success of rice farmers is decreasing. I hear that the sales increased after the renewal. I am proud of my a little contribution to our culture.
Daniel: What do you think is the difference between graphic design in North America and graphic design in Japan?
Kenichi: Japanese design is sentimental, North American is dry. That is my impression.