Ancora: Reviving Analog Communication with a Twist

Harajuku Design Inc.'s Award-Winning Brand Identity for a Unique Stationery Store

In an era of rapid digitalization, Harajuku Design Inc. breathes life back into analog communication with Ancora, a brand store that sells customizable fountain pens and stationeries. The store, which opened in Tokyo in March 2020, offers a unique shopping experience that allows customers to blend their own ink using a cocktail shaker and customize their pens in myriad ways. The brand's unique properties and innovative approach to stationery have earned it the prestigious Platinum A' Graphics, Illustration and Visual Communication Design Award in 2023.

Keiichiro Yanagi, the creative director of Harajuku Design Inc., led the design team in creating Ancora's brand identity. The team included graphic designers Joséphine Grenier, Yuka Minamino, and Ryusei Sakurai, with photography by Takashi Takayama. The project was managed by Minoru Aoishi and produced by Miho Nishikawa.

The design of Ancora is inspired by the basic rituals of writing, such as filling the pen with ink and scribbling to test it before writing. The brand's symbol mark features a handwritten line from the tip of a fountain pen, with an "A" in the center representing the brand's initial. The graphic design incorporates colorful ink drops and handwritten lines, reflecting the brand's focus on the joy of writing and drawing from the heart.

Ancora's products are designed to be customizable, uniting the simplicity of form with the complexity of personalization. The store offers a high level of customization, turning the stationary experience into a shopping dream. Customers can select and choose products by color gradients, and all items are part of the same brand. The size of the products may vary, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.

As a gift, an Ancora fountain pen is not just perfect but also provides a story of its own. The brand encourages the revival of analog in-person communication, offering a special experience for customers. The store is a place to experience the colorful world of stationery, with refillable ink and a workshop where customers can customize their pens to their taste.

The Platinum A' Design Award recognizes world-class, exceptional, and highly innovative designs that showcase unmatched professionalism, genius, and contribute to societal wellbeing. Ancora's award-winning design is a testament to Harajuku Design Inc.'s commitment to pushing the boundaries of art, science, design, and technology, and its contribution to making the world a better place.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Keiichiro Yanagi
Image Credits: Keiichiro Yanagi
Project Team Members: Creative director: Keiichiro Yanagi Art directior: Keiichiro Yanagi Graphic designer: Joséphine Grenier Graphic designer: Yuka Minamino Graphic designer: Ryusei Sakurai Photography: Takashi Takayama Project manager: Minoru Aoishi Producer: Miho Nishikawa
Project Name: Ancora
Project Client: Keiichiro Yanagi

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