Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary marking the start of J-pop duo Cousin. I've known them almost 10 years, and have designed 7 CD jackets (and their 10th anniversary logo, now adapted into their 15th!)

So it's been 15 years since their debut single went platinum with 700,000 sales. Years in which they parted with their record label, went independent, and scored more minor successes with the likes of the theme for a popular NHK across Japan rail-trip series (風の街). In between, there's been work with children in Hiroshima, a trip to the border of Afghanistan for another programme, other singles like ひまわり, and a currently-continuing tour with Yoshimi Iwasaki.

Designing for independents has been fun – including a fold-out lyric sheet on the back of which was a join-the-dots design which formed the kanji character for "friend" (友) – that was for their 10th anniversary album "ten" which also means "heaven" or (hence the design) "dot"; a snowflake made of musical notes for "The Sound of Snow Falling"; my first opportunity to play with kanji shapes – to mirror the title of "Moonlight, Starlight and Sunshine" (月と星と太陽と); or a die-cut, choose-your-own-colour design for last year's CD.

Click here for your own PDF of the join-the-dots kanji. Or go to Amazon Japan to buy that or other albums...

Meanwhile, here's to 15 more years and counting.

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