Roooots – Setouchi Specialty Products Redesign Project 2013 The Results are in! Check them out!

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We are excited to announce the winners of the Roooots Setouchi Specialty Products Redesign Project 2013, which called for revamped designs for 10 Seto specialty products in the lead up to Setouchi Triennale 2013. Our panel of judges, after much deliberation, has selected 12 entries to be marketed as original local brands.

This year the competition, which was rolled out for the 4th time, attracted over 500 entries. And as a result of the high quality of entries, we decided to create an Excellence Award category for those outstanding entries that made it to the final selection but just fell short of the winners’ list. The winning designs will be commercially produced and marketed, after discussions between the designers and producers have been concluded.


Taku Satoh

Masamichi Toyama

Fram Kitagawa

Chiaki Hayashi (Loftwork)

Winning designs

01.Kawara Sembei

Anna Kovecses–Upbeat Geometry

My design is a modern yet friendly packaging that works with multiple symbols including the iconic shape of the cookies. The outer box features geometric shapes, one of which is the actual cookie, while the other is an interpretation of the target audience – the face of a woman. Branding elements also include a sleek blue logo icon that repeats as a pattern for the inside and an emblem made of dots with a hand drawn feel that is embossed into the cookie simultaneously. This design aims to have an upbeat yet elegant atmosphere with a good quality hand crafted feel that helps the product get closer to the consumer.

Judges’ comments:
・The design boasts a rather nostalgic look and takes you back to the days of the Showa era. It’s also quite striking and leaves a lasting impression. (Taku Satoh)
・It’s all about the cute packaging when giving gifts. And this package is impressive, and an interesting twist for a traditional product like Kawara Sembei. (Masamichi Toyama)

2.Kutsuwa Sembei

No winning designs were selected for this product.

3.Beni Imo (Purple Sweet Potato) Cookies

Toshio Moyama—Beni Imo Cookies
I wrapped up the cookie in paper. Not only does it bring down packaging costs, but the simple design is striking and mirrors the image of a sweet potato.

Judges’ comments:
・The wrapping shares the texture of sweet potatoes and looks almost good enough to eat! These days we see a lot of crisp-lined designs, but this one with its rough-around-the-edges appeal has a real presence. (Taku Satoh)
・The 3-dimentional representation of a sweet potato is really novel. This unusual product is depicted perfectly by this slightly quirky design. It would be cool to see these “potatoes” piled on top of each other in in-store product displays. (Masamichi Toyama)
・This package just screams “yummy” to me! (Chiaki Hayashi)

4.Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I decided to make a simple text-only design to emphasize the pure goodness of the product.
I deliberately spaced the text like this to show that the product has been made with great care.
As the label is written spanning two sides of the package, two products can be positioning side-by-side so the text on two labels joins to make one.

Judges’ comments:
・At first glance it looks like not much has gone into the design of this product, but in actual fact that is what makes it stand out. The square-corner display idea is also really unique. I would love to see the designer work on the choice of paper and printing to give the impression that 2,000 yen is a steal for this high-end item. (Taku Satoh)
・I really like how the design looks like it could made by the locals of Shodoshima. (Masamichi Toyama)
・I think it would really add to it if we included the product story about how and why it is made. (Chiaki Hayashi)

5.Fish Snacks in a Setouchi Treasure Box

Jun Kuronagi—Setouchi Dried Sardines
I used the boat flags (called tairyo-bata which traditionally signify a great catch, but are also used today as decorative flags on vessels and for festivals and events) in the hope that many people would become familiar with these fresh delicacies from the sea.
I studied some boat flags and tried to capture the dimensions, colors, font and the bravery of the fishermen, with the wish that these “flags of hope” can flutter in mass under the blue skies of the Seto Inland Sea.

Note: This design was submitted for No. 6, the Setouchi Dried Sardines; however the judges thought that the design would be more suitable for No. 5, the Fish Snacks in a Setouchi Treasure Box.

Judges’ comments:
・I think this design using the boat flags is great as the flags are really bright and give off a happy energy, which is what we need these days. I would like to see about three different versions of the design. (Taku Satoh)
・The design inadvertently says “Buy Me!”. It would look really cool to display the products on one of those boat platters used for laying out sushi. I can totally see visitors from France buying loads of these to pass out to their friends and family in Paris. (Masamichi Toyama)

6. Setouchi Dried Sardines

Kenichi Matsumoto—Setouchi Dried Sardines
The intent was to portray the freshness and safety of the product with a package design that said “straight from the net”!
The design depends on the budget available, but basically it’s a plain plastic bag with fishing net wrapped over the bag instead of a label to make the product look like it’s just been caught.
I hope that the design of the net filled with fish depicts the abundance of the Seto Inland Sea and all of nature’s treasures to be found there.
The design can also be rolled out for other types of fish by changing the color of the net.

Judges’ comments:
・The package screams “Gotcha”! The content of the package is stealing the show, so this would be a great package design to roll out for other products as well. (Taku Sato)
・These days we see many of the same-old product packaging designs, but this design is such a unique idea and so original. (Masamichi Toyama)

7. Lemon and Black Beans Coated with Wasanbon Sugar

Mariko Terai—Sanuki-grown Sweets
I used the same style of box but used an image depicting the beautiful weather that the Setouchi region is blessed with. I used the colors of the sweets for the pictures on the gusset bags to compliment the goodies inside.
I think if the image is embossed on the box and gusset bags, then it will add a special and more luxury feel to the product.

Judges’ comments:
・The design has a lovely down-to-earth feel about it. (Taku Satoh)
・It has an inviting warmth about it and despite looking fairly modern, it is something that would appeal to both young people and seniors alike. (Masamichi Toyama)
・Sweets are often enjoyed while relaxing or taking a break and the soft look of the design fits perfectly. (Chiaki Hayashi)

8. Miso Spread with Garlic and Dried Sardines

Tomoyo Sakai –The face of Shikoku
Made with the goodness of garlic but not so much of the odor, this spread is something that I think would appeal to the younger market so I decided to create the design accordingly.
It’s made in Shikoku’s Kagawa, so I decided to use the shape of the island of Shikoku as the hair and added a face to it to create this imaginary character. The parts of his face are made with images of the spread’s ingredients such as dried sardines and garlic.
As the name suggests, the idea was to have this product become the face of Shikoku. In a bid to maintain a crisp and cool-looking label, I wanted to keep the text to a minimum so used images where possible and only a short explanation of the product on the back.

Judges’ comments:
・The monotone design is very simple, but that is what makes the face so memorable. Also, I really like how the creator has gone all out and called it the Face of Shikoku and not just Kagawa. (Taku Satoh)
・Very interesting design because it’s like you can almost see contours of the face, even though there aren’t any. (Masamichi Toyama)

9. Riceenoir Sake made from Kodaimai Rice

Jun Kuronagi—Riceenoir
The arabesque design covers the entire bottle depicting the power of life with the Japanese characters for ancient, rice, power, earth, people, courage, heart and beauty all disguised in the foliage of this design, which is based on the concept of the rice flower. The collection of Japanese leaf-looking characters is designed to look fresh and new while evoking strong images of fermentation.

Judges’ comments:
・Usually, alcohol bottles feature the product name boldly on the bottle, so this nameless bottle is really intriguing and unique. (Taku Satoh)
・I am really taken by the spectacular design inspired by not rice, but flowers. (Masamichi Toyama)

10. Marugame Uchiwa Fan made with Bamboo

Kayahiroya—Setouchi Venus
This design depicts Venus from the famous work “The Birth of Venus” basking in the Setouchi sea breeze. I wanted to give the design an element of ART=BIRTH because of the Setouchi Triennale 2013.

Judges’ comments:
・I really like the cute but quirky expression on her face. (Taku Satoh)

Hideyuki Kumagaya—Hana-sakana
The design depicts little fish swimming happily in the Seto Inland Sea in the formation of fireworks.
The fireworks are going off for the Arts Festival—boom boom!

Judges’ comments:
・I thought these were beautiful fireworks, until I took a closer look and realized that it was schools of fish swimming around! So unique! (Chiaki Hayashi)

This design depicts lots of mandarins ripened in the warm Setouchi sunshine. Little birds gather around the mandarins, which boast rich citrus aromas.

Judges’ comments:
・I think the beautiful pattern would go really well with a yukata (summer kimono), and I think that using the mandarins is a really original idea. (Chiaki Hayashi)

Gustav Klim—Sunset and the Mountains

“What is this?”
“The most beautiful sunset in Japan (pride) with the face of those distinctive mountains (identity) jutting out from the plain, and the wind.”
“The winds are strong in Setouchi?”
“No, no, it’s from the fan!”

Judges’ comments:
・It’s really beautiful. I wanted to take it home myself! (Masamichi Toyama)

Excellence Awards

kaorimix—Kawara Sembei

Tatsuro Hirano—Miso Spread with Garlic and Dried Sardines

Atsushi Honda—riceenoir

Masakuni Terui—Mermaid

Messages from the Judges

This time we had a lot of well-thought-out designs, including many unique ideas that wouldn’t normally come about through regular marketing processes. It’s clear from the top-level work submitted that those who entered the competition took a few pointers from past winning entries which made it to the store shelves. This year’s winning designs boast great variety, and that in itself depicts the allures of the Setouchi region. I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s products on the shelves. (Taku Satoh)

We received some really high-quality work, and eventually were able to pin down the winning entries. I liked how we looked beyond the design and visualized the product on the shelves and being sold in stores. (Masamichi Toyama)

Each time we roll out the Roooots Project there are always entries that I instinctively know will be a hit, and they always turn out that way. This time—the 4th time for Roooots to be held—I came across ideas and designs that made my heart sing! I’m ecstatic that everyone has embraced the Roooots Project with such enthusiasm and fresh ideas! (Chiaki Hayashi)

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