Japanese Calligraphy by Master Eri Takase

Custom Japanese Calligraphy
Celebrating Takase Studios's 20th Anniversary
The Art of Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase
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Japanese Calligraphy Logo Design Process

I had the pleasure of working with Yoga instructor and Reiki Master Ms. Ann Ford on a logo design for her business Sky Yoga. The final design ended up being a variation on a previous design that I had published. Though to get to this final design we had carefully examined several options. As we worked through the options the client understood the choices and made informed decisions about what worked best for her and her business. The result was a design with meaning for her practice and told the story of how she approaches her business.

1. Initial Description - Ann

"I am looking for a business logo. I teach yoga and am also a Reiki master.

I looked over your characters, I love the AI kanji that is in the black frame. Though I would like to have the AI bigger, down the center and HEART AND SOUL on both sides of AI. Probably not the literal translation of the physical heart and soul, but since I work with energy, and out of love and compassion.

How would this look as a business logo?" Ann

2. Some Questions - Eri

"There are several examples of Love on my website with the following being two ideas:

Love - Semi-Cursive

Love - Modern Design

There is a lot that we can do with Love/Heart and Soul as the main theme for a logo. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that the design should be relatively simple and recognizable while still conveying the meaning and image you have in mind." Eri

3. First Response - Ann

"I like the 2nd Love one (I like the heart!). It really depends what the other kanji characters look like.

I think the 2nd one is cute, though it would take up a lot of space, being quite 'square-ish'..... I don't know if anyone would recognize that as Love; whereas the 1st one is the one people will recognize the most." Ann

4. First Design Set - Eri

First Design Set

"(1) has Heart, kokoro, as the top kanji. Love, ai, is the main and middle kanji. And Soul, tamashii, is the bottom kanji. These basic elements are rearranged and in different fonts in the other designs.

Perhaps each individual element is easier to see in (4) with Love on Top, Soul on the lower left, Heart on the lower right.

(6) has Soul in a cursive script to better balance out the kanji for Heart on the left" Eri

5. First Design Set Response - Ann

"Wow! They are all quite cool!

Now, in your PROFESSIONAL opinion, which one would YOU choose; this logo will be used on letterhead, business cards, etc. I don't want it to be too 'busy'.... know what I mean? I love the red heart!!

Of course I don't want it to be too long either, since it'll take too much space.

I like #5 and #8. If we changed the AI to the other style (the square one?) how would it look, or would it look too boxy?

Hmm.... I do also like #4, but without the AI; just the bottom line with the cute red heart....

I am running into a problem, where I think, there are too many characters in the group and is very distracting...

Initially I thought it would be a great idea, but....

I am wondering if you can look at #4; I like the bottom row, with the heart. Can you see what it would look like if we remove the Love and put the HEART kanji on the left, the heart design in the middle and SOUL on the right?" Ann

6. Second Design Set - Eri

Second Design Set

"I do like your idea of the bottom row of (4) and have created several ideas along this line

I have also shown examples with the abstract version of Ai in (14) - (17).

I am concerned that a logo should be something simple and easily recognized in the sense that if someone sees it again they will know that they have seen it before. It must also have a story that fits with what you want to say.

I thought perhaps that the two characters with the heart might be too complex and tried one character with the heart in (9), but I don't know.

(9B) has Love and Soul. This still has a complexity.

(10) and (11) are nice because they read "heart and soul" from left to right. (11) has an "uplifted heart" in the design that also appeals to me. I think this particular design has a nice, clean explanation that you can use to segue into the philosophy of how you approach and conduct your business." Eri

7. Second Design Set Response - Ann

"You are most definitely right on about keeping it simple; the more I see the other AI, as in 14,15,16,17, the more I like it; especially 17.

Is there a way to add a Reiki spiral in the center of the AI; you have part of a spiral look, the Reiki (Chokurei) has 3 turns to the spiral." Ann

8. Third Design Set - Eri

"Here are my thoughts focusing on (17) and the Reiki Spiral

Please let me know if this is what you had in mind with the spiral. If there is something different perhaps you can show me a link of the design." Eri

Third Design Set


9 Third Design Set Response - Ann

"I am really liking your AI design, the boxy one? Though it doesn't 'look' like a kanji character, as long as I know what it is! and can explain it to the others, suits me just fine. As a Reiki Master, I am wondering if we can incorporate a spiral within the square AI kanji.

If you know of the Usui Reiki symbols, it's called Chokurei, basically a spiral (with 3 lines/curves) and a 'hat'... if we can some how add the spiral (without the top is fine too) somewhere in the center of the square kanji, I think that would look awesome!

I have finally decided on my business logo LOOK:

I have chosen #19 with only the center AI.

Is there a way you can create another #19 without the 2 kanji (heart, soul) next to it?" Ann

10 Fourth Design Set - Eri

Here is 19 without the two side symbols in (19A). And I have also done three samples with different swirls:

Fourth Design Set

11 Fourth Design Set Response - Ann

"Eureka! you did it! They all look FAB!

I like them all, but especially drawn towards #21 the most. My second choice is #22; the lines look lighter, more feminine to me." Ann

From this design set Ann selected (21) as the image with (22) as a second choice. Based on this a final design set was created and mailed. The final design set is not shown here. The entire process took four revisions and the design was completed within a week. The final design is a combination of the kanji for Love, a small heart, and the Usui Reiki symbol called Chokurei.

Sky Yoga Logo
Option Selected from the Final Design Set

To order a custom logo design visit Custom Artwork (Logo Design). And for questions, email directly at Eri@Takase.com

Logo Design used by Permission of Ann Ford of Sky Yoga

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