Kotori: A Japanese Charm Packaging Design

Preserving Words as Precious Charms

Kotori, a packaging design by Shun Kudo, aims to protect and cherish the power of words by transforming them into Japanese charms.

The name "Kotori" is derived from the Japanese words "Kotoba" (word) and "Omamori" (charm). The designer envisioned a symbol that represents a bird delivering words, akin to a carrier pigeon. This symbol embodies the concept of a being that not only delivers but also protects the power of words.

According to Shun Kudo, the designer behind Kotori, words received from loved ones are akin to good luck charms. These words have the ability to uplift us when we are feeling down, heal us when we are hurt, and provide support when we need it the most. Kotori was created to allow individuals to carry the presence of their loved ones with them at all times, using their words as a source of strength.

The design of Kotori features a paulownia wood box, carefully shaped to resemble a traditional Japanese charm. The interior of the box is lined with a straw-like cushion material, reminiscent of a bird's nest, further emphasizing the symbolic bird motif. The Japanese charm itself is made of Nishijin brocade, a fabric produced in Kyoto, lending an elegant touch to the design.

The specifications of Kotori include a Japanese charm measuring 40mm in width and 80mm in height, a main bag for the charm woven in Nishijin, Kyoto, and an outer box measuring 63mm in width, 104mm in height, and 35mm in depth. The paulownia wood box is secured with Kotori's original obi, adding a touch of authenticity to the packaging. Additionally, a letter card measuring 29mm in width and 45mm in height is included for writing a personal message.

To experience Kotori, individuals can visit the service website and enter a message. The purchaser will then receive a Japanese charm enclosed with a letter containing the message. This charm can be sent to loved ones, serving as a tangible reminder of their presence and the power of their words.

The Kotori project began in October 2018 and is based in Tokyo. It was made available to the public in April 2019, aiming to create a future where people can feel connected to others without experiencing loneliness. The design research behind Kotori was driven by the belief that words have the ability to change lives, and in today's information-saturated world, it is crucial to protect and cherish these precious words.

Kotori's unique approach to packaging design presents a challenge in a culture where words are not traditionally regarded as charms. However, the design aims to redefine the significance of words in a world overflowing with information. By transforming words into something to believe in, Kotori seeks to provide a sense of stability and credibility amidst the constant flux of language.

Kotori, with its exquisite packaging and heartfelt concept, encapsulates the power of words and their ability to create meaningful connections. By preserving words as precious charms, Kotori offers a unique way to carry the presence of loved ones, providing comfort and encouragement whenever needed.

Image Credits: Shun Kudo

Intellectual Property Notice: ISSHO inc.

Awards and Accolades: Kotori was awarded the Bronze A' Design Award in the Packaging Design category in 2023. This prestigious award recognizes designs that demonstrate creativity, resourcefulness, and a commitment to improving quality of life through art, science, design, and technology.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Shun Kudo
Image Credits: Shun Kudo
Project Team Members: Shun Kudo
Project Name: Kotori
Project Client: Shun Kudo

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