Kodansha Global Brand Identity


Designed by Sue Murphy at Gretel

Designer: Lea Loo

Designer: Adam Lou

Designer: Dylan Mulvaney

Motion Designer: Cyrus Cummings

Motion Designer: John Choi

Type Designer: Ayaka Ito

Strategist: Carter Bird

Strategist: Nathan Fisch

Strategist: Daniel Edmundson

Categories: Printed Publication / Environmental / Print / Identity / Moving Image / Signage / Exhibition / Experience / Object / Prop / Screen

Industry: Commercial

Kodansha is Japan’s largest publisher, responsible for bringing some of the most incredible stories to the world — from Akira and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon to non-fiction and children’s books, as well as the discovery of globally renowned author Haruki Murakami. Since its founding in 1909, Kodansha’s work has grown to the point of ubiquity in Japan. Their brand presence, however, was rarely felt and garnered little affinity compared to the success of their titles and cultural contribution.

Facing their 112th anniversary, and with its core business evolving across platforms and markets, Kodansha decided to embark on their first holistic rebrand. They felt a revitalized brand both at home and abroad could reset the foundation for a bright, new chapter in Kodansha’s own story.

Over the course of a year and a half we collaborated with Kodansha to create a new brand and adapted it for key markets around the globe. This process would include a revolution in strategic ethos that culminated in a new brand purpose: Inspire Impossible Stories. 

From here our partnership spanned many touchpoints, from brand publisher standards, to trade show designs, to sonic and logo mnemonics, brand launches, and a brand film in collaboration with the director Juan Cabral.