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Lifetailor

Lifetailor, the brand by Yuko Yamashita.

Based on a desire to improve the conditions of people who were becoming weak, my client “Yuko-san” came up with the concept of using experiences that she had nurtured to date to create her new brand, Lifetailor.

As I continued to hold conversations with her to explore insights for her design, I eventually arrived at a key concept, that the state of tension that we experience daily based on pressure and the ways to handle it well and to cope with stress consisted of the same vision as maintaining one’s balance atop waves, and that the key for doing that was to understand pliancy and external environmental factors. 
Thus, we decided to come up with my design based on the concept of dynamic equilibrium balance and intermediate cumulative results as are discussed in fluid mechanics and molecular biology.

In particular, Shapes, Movement and growth by Hirofumi Wada, professor, Science and Engineering at Ritsumeikan University, and Shapes, Branches by Philip Ball gave me clues for deep development (A part of the sketches from that time).

To be specific, the background for the letter L in the logo is like a backward flip on the bar.

It begins like a practice. Yuko-san is like the accompanying person. 
Everything is recognized. These were the type of images that were hidden as an undercurrent. The sense of discomfort that exists between the first letter and the rest of the text was made intentionally, and the backdrop for the remaining characters contain a more fluid image (e.g. rhythm, waves, liveliness, autonomy, movement).

As people have a habit of attempting to find meaning to everything, including objects that have no meaning, they are always seeking meaning and intentions from us designers.

 

It is natural for this to happen as meaning is created where it hadn’t existed; however, people who seek answers feel that they have understood and thus achieve satisfaction, regardless of whether it is the correct answer. There is no small number of designers who occasionally go on to create beautiful designs later on.

If we were to say that an equation exists where the justice lies in logically describing design, then perhaps we may suspect a ‘how to’ method hidden in the backdrop for obtaining the sole satisfaction of the client who has requested the work and is standing before us.

The methods are determined from the beginning: a certain challenge exists, and to resolve that, the person placing the order — a person who is not a designer, that is — uses a designer as their tool. This is the association between persons who place the orders, i.e. the clients, and designers that is now generally accepted within the industry.


And kinks ensue because business exists where designers who are only familiar with their own language are accepting such jobs.

When designing a logo is the only solution method, this in itself becomes the sole focus and results in distortions in the association between the design and the payment.
My feeling is that there is a sense of fear of knowing that the finished product will be final and must be used as such while, based on an ungenerous preconception that a designer should be do anything because it’s their job to do that, they have no idea what the finished item will be like.


What is unacceptable is when the blame is placed on the designer after the client sees the finished item and says the issue has not been resolved.

Despite the issue, the method for resolving it, and even the definition of the design have been determined by the client, the value of the designer starts to decline.

There is a blog called UX Collective that offers words by Rubens Cantuni:

The logo is now following the product. The digital product is changing, improving, adding features, it’s getting shaped as the world around it is changing, as users are changing, as the way we use that product is changing. Agile and all that stuff.

The age of digital, the speed of information and change is accelerating, and new services are being offered one after the other. 


All brands are expected to carry on their mission to continue to shine more than ever before, and even a logo will change depending on the time, the user, and the life model. In the digital world, design has become a creature with a short lifespan.

While clients create roadmaps in their business plans at the time of their founding, these should be timelines that take into consideration paradigms at a higher dimension. It is easy to imagine that when fixed point observations and future forecasts are complete, a product will change, as will the world around it, in line with changes among users. Despite deciding that these types of work would fall under fixed assets, clients use designers while paying under short-term consumables. The desire of not wanting to pay in the first place goes wild.

If design were to be viewed as having broader meaning within the scope of business, then business itself could be called design and I feel that it would be a waste to see it separately as if it were a static object. Unfortunately, logo design, understood with a multitude of definitions, is created from a narrow perspective and is used as if it were a fixed asset while it has a unit price and remuneration exists as a short-term consumable, and my feeling is that business is being conducted between people for whom time value and design are different things and designers who speak the old language of design. This issue may become somewhat resolved if the relationship between money and time could be sorted out.

Neither Yuko-san nor I feel that our desire to establish our image means the same thing as creating a logo (using applications and rendering visual communication). It is the designer’s mission to ‘design an algorithm that optimizes the imagination and human force so that people are able to find some kind of definition for Lifetailor within the multidimensional space that they have in their minds’ and to create a cell that enables reviews of the definitions for the logo and to develop an ecosystem from that point.

And as we now draw close to the end of this piece, Yuko-san said on the finished design, contrary to the digital equations that I have been discussing in depth, that she would like to use it permanently.

There is such a thing as there being no words to describe it despite having developed the design from such complicated philosophies, and there are times when meaning is discovered or content is conveyed faster than when put in words when a person sees a majestic work of natural beauty or a man-made object or when they come to realize the strong sentiments within another person.

This has been a project that has made me realize that designs that go beyond theories and equations are also designs.

Translation: Eriko Sugita

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「自分が培ってきた経験で、弱った人の状態を改善したい」


そんなコンセプトで立ち上がった クライアント「ゆこさん」のブランド「Lifetailor」。

デザインのインサイトを探るため彼女と会話を重ねていく中で、あるキーワードに辿り着きました。それは「私達が日々過ごしている世界で、圧力に寄る緊張状態と自分をどう賢く保つか・ストレスと上手く共存していくかは、波上でバランスを保っているイメージと同じで、弾性と外部環境因子を掴むことが鍵」ということです。

そこで、流体力学や分子生物学で語られる「動的平衡バランスと中間累積結果の概念」からデザインを導くことにしました。

特に立命館大学理工学部 和田 浩史教授の論文「かたち・動き・成長の生物物理学」とフィリップ・ボール著の「枝分かれ」「かたち」は深く形成するヒントになりました。(これらはその時のスケッチ一部です)

具体的に、ロゴの頭文字「L」の背景には、逆上がりをする様に。最初は練習の様に。ゆこさんが伴走をする様に。全てを認める様に。そんなイメージが隠れています。最初の文字と残り文字との間にある違和感は意図的に作ったもので、残り文字の背景はもっと流動的なイメージ(リズム・波・快活・自立・動的)を含んでいます。

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課題も解決方法も非デザイナーの発注人が決めていることが多々ある

 

人は何にでも意味のないものに意味を見出そうとする習性があるので、デザイナーを職業にしていると常に作品の意味や意図を求められます。意味の無い所に意味を創ったのだから要求をされるのは当然ですが、例えそれが正しい答えでなくても、発注者は理解したり、理解した気になったりで満足を得ます。時には後から綺麗なコンテキストを作るデザイナーも少なくありません。

「デザインをロジカルに説明する事が正義」という方程式が成り立つとすれば「目の前の発注人だけの満足を得る為のHowTo」が潜んでいると疑って良いかもしれません。

ある課題があり、その解決として、「非デザイナーの発注者」が「ただただ道具としてデザイナーを使いたい」と最初から方法を決めています。

これが現状業界の殆どで罷り通っている「発注人(クライアント)が考えるデザイナーとの関係」です。そして、その言語しか知らないデザイナーが応えることでビジネスが成り立っているのでネジレが生まれています。

ロゴをデザインすることだけが解決方法だと、それだけにフォーカスしているので、「デザイン」と「支払い」の関係もネジレていきます。デザイナーだから何でも出来るだろう。という勝手な期待の元、ただ何が出来るかわからないのに、出来上がったものを「長期」で使っていかなければならない恐怖心があるんだろうと考えています。 と思っています。

しかし許し難いのは、完成した物を見て「問題は解決出来ていない」とデザイナーを責めることです。課題・解決方法・デザイン定義さえ発注人による意思決定にも関わらず、デザイナーの価値は下がっていきます。

UX CollectiveというブログにRubens Cantuni氏が残した言葉があります。
“The logo is now following the product. The digital product is changing, improving, adding features, it’s getting shaped as the world around it is changing, as users are changing, as the way we use that product is changing. Agile and all that stuff.”

意訳すると、デジタルな時代、情報変化の速度上がり、決壊したダムのように次々と新しいサービスが生まれている。全てのブランドは以前よりも輝き保ち続けることを使命とされ、例えロゴでさえも、時間・ユーザー・生活モデルによって変化する。謂わばデザインはデジタルの世界では短命な生き物になった。

事業主は、創業時の事業計画書に「ロードマップ」を書きますが、これは高次元のパラダイムを考慮したタイムラインであるべきです。

市場の定点観測と未来予測ができていれば、ユーザーの変化に連れて、その製品が変化し、周りの世界が移り変わっていく事は容易に想像ができると思います。

固定資産と決めた割に短期消費物の支払いでデザイナーを利用する。「そもそも支払いたくない」という欲が隠れているのではないでしょうか。

ビジネスそのものがデザイン

 

もしビジネスの中でデザインを広義な意味に捉えるとすれば、スタティックな物として捉えるのは勿体無い気がします。

残念ながら多くの意味で捉えられているロゴデザインとは、狭い視点から生まれ、短期消費物として支払い対価と捉えられながら、実は固定資産のように使われています。

タイムバリューとデザインが切り離された人と古いデザイン言語を話すデザイナーでビジネスが行われているんだと感じています。お金と時間の関係整理が出来ていれば少し解消してくるかもしれません。

 

僕もゆこさんもイメージを定着させたい=ロゴを作ればいい(アプリケーションを使いビジュアルコミュニケーションを図る)とは思っていません。「頭のなかにある多次元的な宇宙空間の中で、Lifetailorとは何かの定義を見つけられるよう、想像人の推力を最適化するアルゴリズムをデザインする」こともデザイナーのミッションですし、ロゴの定義を見直すことができる細胞を作り、そこからエコシステムを作ることだってデザイナーの仕事だと思います。

さて、最後になりましたが、

散々語ったデジタル上の方程式に反し、ゆこさんは完成したデザインを「永久に使いたい」と仰ってくださいました。

ここまで難しい哲学からデザインを導いておきながら、時に「言葉にできない」という言葉があるように、壮大な自然美や人口造形物を見た時・人が込めた強い思いを知った時は、意味を見出したり言葉にするよりも速いスピードで内容が伝達することがあります。

これまでの理論や方程式を越えるデザイン。それもまたデザインだと1つ学び・感じたプロジェクトでした。

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