Japanese graphic designer Masaaki Hiromura’s creative pictograms introduce a new way of looking at kanji characters that all can appreciate. The fresh, fun and witty interpretations were designed for a Tokyo department store frequented by international customers.
Hiromura creates visual delight by replacing part of the character with a graphic symbol that depicts its meaning. This combination of graphic and character forms engages passersby to explore the link between the two and discover its meaning.
People who know either English or Kanji can interpret the pictograms’ meaning due to its multilingual nature. Even for those who don’t know either writing system, the meaning is still clearly communicated through the graphic image in its character form.
The system Hiromura designed succeeds on many levels because the symbols are clear, simple and universal while still retaining the essence of kanji characters.