Located in the mountains north of Tokyo, the Nakamura Keith Haring Collection is a museum unlike any other in the world, dedicated solely to the work of the groundbreaking artist Keith Haring. Our ongoing collaboration with the museum has created a graphic identity that links Haring’s elemental drawing style with an ancient Japanese craft and the museum’s spectacular natural setting.
Nakamura Keith Haring Collection is the only museum in the world devoted to the work of the pioneering New York artist Keith Haring. Its unique focus is matched by its unusual location, at the base of the remote and beautiful Yatsugatake Mountains north of Tokyo, Japan. Working with the museum, we’ve designed a series of projects—a catalogue for a major exhibition, the packaging for a commemorative CD, and an emblem and support material for Kobuchizawa Art Village, an affiliated resort—that have formed the basis of a cohesive visual personality for the institution.
To capture the collection’s singular viewpoint, we used bold, contemporary graphics that visually link Haring’s drawing style with the distinctive linework of Jomon pottery, an ancient Japanese art with roots in the area. Patterns of the lines and shapes appear in our packaging for a special CD of the music of Toshinori Kondo that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Haring’s birth. The motif extends to the catalogue for Approaching Primeval Energy, an exhibition that made connections between Haring’s work and Japanese culture. The curved forms are also echoed in the circular emblem for Kobuchizawa Art Village.
Our various projects to date have cumulatively helped Nakamura Keith Haring Collection establish a recognizable identity and raise its profile in the international art community. The collaboration has evolved as part of our ongoing relationship with the museum’s founder and director, Kazuo Nakamura. Several of the projects have been featured in design publications, and our work with the museum continues, most recently in a website design for Kobuchizawa Art Village.
EXPLORATION: Logo prior to redesign and after.
PROTOTYPE: CD music packaging and interior.
It was a challenge for us to find a non-Japanese design firm to work with, but Hinterland has proven over and over again that successful visual communication is a universal language. The studio’s understanding of the arts has resulted in intelligent and creative solutions to our project needs.