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How Shingo Kurono became involved in all-round design

2023.7.24

#ART

A circle of friends connected by goof-touch! The “FIST BUMP” corner of the radio program “GRAND MARQUEE” features people who live and enjoy Tokyo in a relay format.

On June 27, product designer / art director Shingo Kurono, introduced by Shuichi Nakamura of SNOW SHOVELING Mr. Shingo Kurono, a product designer / art director, will appear on the show. We asked Mr. KURONO, who handles all aspects of design including art direction, product, graphic, web design, video and photography, about how he came to design all-round and what he is addicted to.

Aiming to be an all-round designer like Eames

Celeina (MC): Let me introduce your profile. Shingo Kurono-san works as a product designer and art director. After studying design in France, he gained experience at a design firm in Japan before setting up his own business. He is involved in art direction, product design, graphic design, web design, video and photography, and other general design work.

Takano (MC): This is amazing, isn’t it? I am not a designer, but when I ask around, product design, graphic design, and web design are different skills.

Kurono: That’s right. Generally speaking, that’s what people say, but I think that designers like Eames and others in the past made furniture, graphics, and so on, regardless of the field. Nowadays, design tools have been developed, and I want to make good use of them to become a designer like Eames.

Takano: Also, you mentioned that you also take videos and photographs. What exactly do you do?

Kurono: Recently, when I create a brand, I first design the product itself, then design the logo mark and packaging, shoot the main visual, design the website, and then use SNS to promote the product.

Celeina: That’s it!

Kurono: Many of our clients allow us to do the planning and visual creation as a one-stop service.

Takano: In terms of products, you are wearing a watch today.

Kurono: It’s called “sazare,” and it’s a brand made in Japan with no logo on the surface. The one you are wearing right now is an automatic watch, but there are also battery-powered watches and various other types.

Takano: When I look at your website, it’s really cool. It is stylish and has a bit of a literary feel to it.

Celeina: You don’t think that’s where your roots are?

Kurono: No, I don’t know (laughs).

Takano: It’s also because of the connection with Mr. Nakamura of the bookstore SNOW SHOVELING that we talked about yesterday. Do you often go shopping?

Kurono: Yes, I do. But yesterday, Nakamura-kun said he was picked up by me at a bar, and I think I was the one who was picked up (laughs).

Takano: My memory is a little hazy (laughs).

Kurono: That’s right. I was the one who was picked up and we became friends. I was close to Nakamura-kun’s way of life, and to be honest, I see him as a bit of a role model.

Celeina: Specifically, what do you see in him?

Kurono: I was working as a staff member of a design office when we met, and I thought, “What a free brother” (laughs).

Celeina: Freedom, huh?

Kurono: I have a longing for that, so when I heard about this project, I said I didn’t want to be next to Nakamura-kun. I thought it was a bit heavy (laughs).

Celeina: I am sorry. Going back to your original question, what was the initial impetus for you to get involved in design in general?

Kurono: The first reason was that I had been working at an office designing consumer electronics and other products for a long time. When it was time for me to go independent, I started doing fashion graphics. Then, I started making logos for fashion brands, taking pictures, and figuring out how to incorporate them into websites, and I wanted to do the website design myself. As I dug deeper and deeper into the field, I ended up where I am today.

Takano: All-rounders.

Stylish deodorant spray “NIOCAN” design

Kurono: Today, I brought a freshly-made deodorant spray called “NIOCAN” as a gift for the two of you.

Takano: Thank you very much! I can’t imagine how stylish it is from the cute name NIOCAN.

Celeina: The package is stylish.

Kurono: This is a sample, so the commercially available product is 500mL and comes in a trigger type. It is also sold at places like Daikanyama Tsutaya. It is 98% essential oil, so it is not so irritating to the skin or to the eyes.

Celeina: So it is safe.

Takano: I’m using it right away. It smells great!

Celeina: What kind of essential oil is it?

Kurono: It’s a deodorant method that offsets odors with the scent of lemon or citrus essential oils.

Takano: Mr. Kurono, did you also take pictures of this NIOCAN?

Kurono: Yes, I do.

Takano: The booklet is included in the package, and you designed it, or rather, you took the photos, right?

Celeina: They are interesting photos. There is a picture of her looking into a trash can, and another of her face in a sofa.

Kurono: If you put NIOCAN on a trash can, you can really look into it. It’s like advertising (laughs).

Takano: No, it’s important (laughs).

Celeina: Well, let’s send a song around here. I asked Mr. Kurono to choose a song that he would like everyone to listen to together on the radio at this time.

Kurono: Yes. There was a movie called “SOMEWHERE” by Sofia Coppola, and I chose the theme song, “I’ll Try Anything Once” by The Strokes.

The disease of buying photo books, design books, and art books

Celeina: Earlier, we were asking about your work, but is there anything that you are into in your personal life these days?

Kurono: Not recently, but I have a disease that causes me to buy photo books, design books, and art books immediately (laughs).

Takano: But it’s directly related to your work, isn’t it (laughs)?

Kurono: That’s my excuse (laughs). I receive a newsletter on Monday nights around 9:00 p.m.. I see it and buy a few things.

Celeina: Every week, I buy a lot.

Kurono: That’s right.

Takano: What kind of newsletter is it?

Kurono: It’s a newsletter that you receive from the bookstore.

Celeina: They do that (laughs).

Kurono: I’ve been completely taken advantage of (laughs).

Celeina: Do you have any recent recommendations?

Kurono: Yes, I do. I brought a photo book by Erik Ostensson today.

Celeina: From the cover, the photos are very eye-catching.

Takano: I wonder what is going on. At first glance, you might think it’s a scene, but it’s a human being.

Celeina: It looks like a mountain. It also looks like a bed seen from the mountain.

Kurono: I put a sticky note on it, but by sticking a cutter into a glass of water and taking it from a little lower down, the surface of the water glows white. It’s water, but you can feel its hardness. I was struck by it the moment I saw it.

Takano: The blade of the cutter penetrates the surface of the water, and the sharp part comes out. Actually, it’s water, so it’s like a smack, but you can almost hear the sound of the cutter.

Kurono: You explain it very well, don’t you?

Takano: I’m sorry, it was pretty random (laughs).

Celeina: Now, “FIST BUMP”, we are asking you to introduce your friends to the circle of friends that you connect through “GUTATSUCH”.

Kurono: I have a friend named Shinji Wakasa, who is a musician, and we have been working together on a number of projects, and he recently posted an Instagram story of a conversation he had with ChatGPT. Let me introduce you to his friend Shin Yamane. He is also a friend of Wakasa’s, so he is a pretty crazy filmmaker.

Celeina: Do you know each other, Mr. Kurono and Mr. Yamane?

Kurono: Yes, I have. I have had a couple of drinks with him as an introduction, and we have talked about doing an exhibition together in August.

Celeina: If you had to sum it up in one word, what would it be?

Kurono: “A philosophical filmmaker.

Takano: I hope to hear more about that tomorrow. Tomorrow, we will connect you to Susumu Yamane, a video and photo artist.

Celeina: FIST BUMP: Today we have product designer/art director Shingo Kurono. Thank you very much.

Kurono: Thank you very much.

GRAND MARQUEE

J-WAVE (81.3FM) Mon-Thu 16:00 – 18:50
Navigator: Shinya Takano, Celeina Ann

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