D&AD’s Faces To Watch

The first event in D&AD’s new talent scheme, Creative Faces To Watch, showcased the work of some of Japan’s most exciting design talent


Hironao Tsuboi’s Faceless LED watch where the spaces between the bracelet’s links form the characters of the display

The first event in D&AD‘s new talent scheme, Creative Faces To Watch, showcased the work of some of Japan’s most exciting design talent

D&AD plans to stage Creative Faces To Watch evenings in different regions around the world. The first was in Tokyo last month where a panel of luminaries each nominated someone they thought was producing great creative work in Japan.

Joe Ferry, Head of Design at Virgin Atlantic, chose Hironao Tsuboi: “He has the ability to look at everyday objects in a completely new way. Only a real design talent could breath new life into mundane objects such as umbrellas and light bulbs.


Lamp/Lamp – a lamp-shaped lamp

“He refrains from adding unnecessary details. In fact making simple designs look good is one of the most difficult things to do. Who would ever have thought that a watch could become exciting if you entirely remove the watch face – this guy clearly did. He turns a negative into a positive. Hironao Tsuboi’s glass design creates a beautiful detail from essentially a condensation drip. I feel this glass captures his positive take on life, which is both admirable and infectious.”


The Cherry Blossom (Sakura) glass – when wet, the base leaves the pattern of cherry blossom on a surface


Rubber calculator

D&AD President and Creative Director at Williams Murray Hamm, Garrick Hamm chose GT: “It’s a brave team that sets up their own, but to have done so and won a D&AD nomination and a host of other awards within the first couple of years of operation is a real achievement. Some may feel that GT’s collection of international awards doesn’t make them a ‘face to watch’, but I’m really impressed by their determination to be recognised on an international level. It shows a real sense of self-belief, which is a critical element to the success of any studio.”



GT’s PikaPika film, in which 16000 still photos were animated to promote So-net’s online entertainment services

Gt was also behind the Uniqlo March website

Takayuki Soeda, Founder of Soeda Design Factory, chose Home Inc: “A few years ago I was asked to judge at the Sapporo Art Director’s Club. I was really impressed by the work from Home Inc, the design studio that is home to Ryohei ‘Wabi’ Kudow and Kazushi ‘Sabi’ Nakanishi. In Japanese, ‘wabisabi’ means imperfect or impermanent beauty and this ethos flows through all of their work. Their graphics have such a distinct ‘Japanese’ style, but I think they can be understood by anyone.”

And Koichiro Tanaka (see CR Jan), Creative Director of Projector, chose W0W: “W0W try to re-define how images are used. Their work is like a journey discovering a new relationship between images and the media in which they’re used. I’m passionate about W0W.”

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