How a Japanese aesthetic can help you create better work

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Photo: Wolfgang Filser/EyeEm/Getty Images

Finding your way as a designer can be difficult sometimes. In this beautiful world that we live in, there are so many different ideas and iterations, it is easy to get overloaded. Sometimes a set of guiding principles is all that is needed to get started down a path and find your way. If you are anything like me, it is easy to get distracted or find yourself in a place where you’re asking “How do I do this?” or, “Am I doing this right?”

A well-designed user experience, website, or graphic captures a user’s attention and makes the interaction with it meaningful and unforgettable. But how does someone begin to design something that does just that? As I immersed myself in design thinking, different ideas, and aesthetics, one idea that grabbed me and would not let go was the concept of shibumi. Shibui (渋い) (adjective), shibumi (渋み) (noun), or shibusa (渋さ) (noun) is a concept of simplicity and subtlety, natural beauty, and cohesiveness with that which surrounds it. I immediately fell in love with the concept and I now try to incorporate shibumi principals into the graphics and websites that I create. …


Dmitri Atrash

I’m a former United States Naval Aviator turned digital artist. I turn ones and zeros into works of art. Visit for more of my work.

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