Thursday, February 12, 2015

Muji Collaboration: 1. Research

Apologies to my super delayed post, I was running out of ideas on how to compile everything together. This collaboration means a lot to me and I am eager to search for the best way to share with my readers, but time was slipping through my hands!~ There were a few moments as I sat in front of my computer, feeling a lost for words. Finally, this week has been great for me and I've found a way to share my experience with you:

In November 2014, I was approached by Muji staff for their 365 Joyful Days collaboration. They wanted to organise gift wrapping workshops for Muji staff and their members as reward for Christmas.

And the process of discussions unfolded:

I was provided with a few keywords:
- Stamping
- Origami
- Origata
- Gift wrapping

Occasion: Christmas 2014
Target audience: Public
Duration: 2 hours
Preferable 4-5 crafts for each workshop
Given dead line: 2 weeks

With the given brief, I began searching information on the Internet, visiting Muji stores (which I do on a regular basis anyway - I'm a big Muji fan), book stores, video and even the library.

1. Research
a) Social Media
-Understanding the brand and it's identity
Definition of Muji?

  photos source from NIPPON DESIGN CENTER

Ryohin Keikaku Co.,Ltd. (株式会社良品計画 Kabushiki-gaisha Ryōhin Keikaku ) or Muji (無印良品 Mujirushi Ryōhin ) is a Japanese retail company which sells a wide variety of household and consumer goods.
Muji is distinguished by its design minimalism, emphasis on recycling, avoidance of waste in production and packaging, and no-logo or "no-brand" policy.
The name Muji is derived from the first part of Mujirushi Ryōhin, translated as No Brand Quality Goods on Muji's European website.

(Information via wikipedia)

Define Origata (折形)?

Source from LA76's BLOG

Full story of Origata and it's origin can be found at LA76's BLOG
Origata purse by Yosuke Inui
photo source from loftwork

b) Book stores and Library
- In-depth understanding of Muji's branding and traditional gift wrapping techniques from different sources.

Understanding about the story behind the product and targeted life style

 Designing Design
A book published by Kenya Hara- Art director of MUJI

There is one sentence to summarise Muji beautifully
- Nothing Yet Everything (Less is more)

「包む - 日本の伝統パッケージ」 TSUTSUMU Traditional Japanese Packaging 

c) Video
Tag lines from
  • When someone does you a big favor, don't pay it back... Pay It Forward
  • Sometimes The Simplest Idea Can Make The Biggest Difference.
  • Some favours you are not allowed to pay back.
  • Is it possible for one idea to change the world?

After watching this show I asked myself: 
Is it possible to change the world by giving?

d) Muji stores
- Visiting each of their stores and checking out the possible tools and materials available for the gift wrapping workshop.

Although there were limited craft supplies to create the workshop's course outline, I took the challenge to work based on these limited resources.

Course outline will be crafted in such a way that every one will find it easy to create, so anything that is too complicated will be thrown out of the window.  

Possible craft item #01
Postcard with palette  and watercolors

Possible craft item #03
Crafting tools

Possible craft item #04
Muji stamps

Muji X'mas gift items

Possible craft item #05
Handicraft picture book

Possible craft item #06
Origami coloured paper

Possible craft item #06
brown paper, geami paper, Muji ribbon and "FOR YOU" sticker all provided by the store

Next: 2. Design Development

To be continued...


  1. Great research! I might just come back again and again to see this process~Thanks for sharing.