Hikarui is a lifestyle blog and illustration studio that offers an alternative take on “wellness” – one that is deeply inspired by Japanese essentialism and wabi sabi philosophy. It teaches readers how to create their own “getaway space” from modern stressors through diary-style prose and lifestyle advice that promotes “lightweight living”, which is epitomized by the word hikarui – a hybrid of “hikari”, the Japanese word for visible light, and “karui”, the Japanese word for lightweight.
Photographer Chikae O. H. approached us with a soulful proposition – to create a logo that reflected her British/Japanese cultural heritage. The intricacies and hardships of her mixed identity deeply resonated with us as we discussed her past experiences as an artist caught between two very different worlds.
Still, Chikae's photography feels light, airy and beautifully balanced – finely encapsulated by her brand name Hikarui, which is a hybrid of "hikari", the Japanese word for visible light, and "karui", the Japanese word for lightweight. We were inspired by Chikae's dedication to seek simplicity and tread with a light heart, despite all of her complexities. Over the weeks, we worked together to create a logo and branding system informed by Japanese calligraphy and classic English serifs.
Our main objective for Hikarui’s web design was not only to create a website that feels visually aligned with her updated branding system, but to also design a website that is easy to navigate from the back-end. We decided to switch her over from Wordpress to Squarespace and customize an existing Squarespace template to suit her branding needs. We implemented an online magazine layout that showcases Chikae’s photography prominently and added a studio extension for her to build out as she continues to develop her illustration portfolio.