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The Reason Why Designers Love Muji

By Yurie Midorikawa / May 31, 2017

Muji has officially announced that they will open two permanent stores in Vancouver. There are also some Muji fans here at FAC, but what's so great about Muji?

What's Muji?

Muji is one of the few brands that has successfully spread worldwide as a minimalistic and sustainable brand icon, an achievement which most designers strive to create in these modern days. Their full name being 無印良品 (Mujirushi Ryōhin), which stands for “No Brand, High Quality Goods” - Muji was born to be an antithesis of materialism. It therefore makes sense that they keep every campaign, graphic, store, product design, and even news release as minimal as possible, and celebrate the avoidance of waste and the conservation of nature.

Muji logo

Ads that make you think

​Muji has published a number of ads in the past
but there is one thing that stands out as their design trend - "Let people think."
Instead of making ads to make people want to buy their products,
they emphasize 'emptiness' in their ads.
The intention of this is to make people think about the stories behind the design.

(Art direction by Kenya Hara)

Horizon - 2003 campaign
2008 ad campaign

Let’s take this ad for example. The bed frame and a chair are made by the industrial designer, Naoto Fukasawa who has been contributing to Muji’s products. 

The taglines in Japanese say, “It came naturally like this” - But why is that? If you take a closer look at the back of the bed and chair, you’ll notice that they are the same design. This is because there is a simple connection between the way we use these items. 

The idea is very simple, yet the design doesn't tell you the message straight away.

2008 ad campaign
2014 ad campaign

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