Who’s Your Designer: Tadanori Yokoo or Kenya Hara?

Tadanori Yokoo, Having reached a climax at the age of 29, I was dead, 1965 / Kenya Hara, poster for Muji, early 2000s

Tadanori Yokoo (yo-ko-o) and Kenya Hara: two iconic designers with two completely different styles. Take this quiz to find out who’s going to be your next favorite Japanese designer!

1. The walls of your bedroom are:

A. Covered with vinyl and pop art posters, really going for the ‘60s, lots of vibrating colors

B. Soft white, with one or two cherished things hanging on them

2. Your idea of a fun night out is:

A. Getting your groove on with friends at an outdoor concert

B. Going to drink cold beers (in glasses) in an ultra-minimalist bar

3. Preferred type of food:

A. Anything new and trendy with vibrant and unusual flavors, textures, and colors

B. The body is a temple, so anything with fresh ingredients

4. It’s finals week, you de-stress by:

A. Grabbing your Airpods and turning your top punk/hip-hop/metal playlist to 11

B. Petting the dogs at the Stress Free Zone downstairs in the Great Hall

5. What type of party are you most likely to go to?

A. Bangers with loud bands and strangers dancing poorly

B. Small get togethers where you hang out and catch up

6. Your ideal vacation spot is:

A. A beach for running, surfing, or snorkeling

B. A beach for sunning, reading, and wading

7. What is the key to happiness?

A. Feeling free, and self-expressive

B. Feeling free, and self-reflective

Tadanori Yokoo, Train with Eyes, 2005
Tadanori Yokoo, Train with Eyes, 2005

If you answered mostly A’s, your personality matches the works of Tadanori Yokoo. Yokoo (b. 1936 — still active) is a Japanese graphic designer and artist known primarily in the West for his psychedelic posters. Influenced by surrealism, American pop art, and Japanese pop culture, Yokoo’s distinct style brought a new vision to postwar Japan in the 1960s. His work challenges Japan’s adoption of the Western design ideal — embodied by the Bauhaus — while criticizing Japanese society through its iconography.

Yokoo’s Work | https://maverickcult.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/tadanori-yokoo-the-poster-as-work-of-art/

Kenya Hara, Musubi, poster, 2011

If you answered mostly B’s, your personality matches Kenya Hara’s style. Hara is a Japanese graphic designer, curator, and writer whose simple design embodies the concepts of purity and emptiness. He is the creative director of Muji, a Japanese retail brand whose name translates to ‘no-brand quality goods.’ Muji’s humble, minimal aesthetic is easily recognizable through all of its products, from pens and pencils to aprons and coffee makers. His work strips away all unnecessary ornament, creating designs that are unostentatious and functional.

Hara Interview | http://www.designculture.it/interview/kenya-hara.html

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