14 Japanese Digital Agencies We Love

Giorgia Lombardo

20/03/2019 6 min read LOUD

Spending time in Japan during Design Matters Tokyo gave us the unique opportunity to explore the Japanese design scene and build new valuable relationships with other designers. Not only did we mingle with local designers, we also discovered new designers, artists, studios, and agencies.

Japanese web design is unique. In fact, because of the complexity of the Japanese alphabets and, more in general, the visual complexity Japanese are used to navigating on a daily basis, adapting to global web design trends or standards has taken a little more time. But today UX plays a much bigger role, and there are plenty of websites with mind blowing visuals.

So, we decided to create a list of our favourite Japanese studios and agencies that truly broadened our horizons, in the hope that you will find precious inspiration and the same level of excitement we experienced when we first came across them.

Enjoy!

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From InFocus

1. IN FOCUS

IN FOCUS is a design studio in Tokyo centered on the fields required for digital contents such as web, graphic design, video and photography. Their work focuses on crossing different digital experiences to generate new perspectives.

INFOCUS’ project TOKYO LIT MAP, a web based map game from a campaign of NIKE SPORTS FINDER.
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From UltraSuperNew

2. ULTRASUPERNEW

UltraSuperNew is a global creative agency born in Harajuku. Their work is entirely targeted for Millennials and Gen Y, and focuses on everything related to digital, social, activation and emerging tech. Their mission is to create something that doesn’t just move past traditional marketing, but also moves people.

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UltraSuperNew’s web project for SE4, a Tokyo-based start-up specializing in remote robotics, striving to combine AI and VR to send semi-autonomous robots to space.
UltraSuperNew’s project for TAG Heuer Japan,official partner of the Japanese Football League. They made Instagram Stories a game of skill and precision.
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From Studio Details

3. STUDIO DETAILS

This Design studio takes its name from the phrase “God is in the details”. Their mission is to deliver quality design work finding their intent in details, but without getting caught up in them.

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Studio Details’ project for HELLO CYCLING, a shared cycling service available in Japan, mainly in Tokyo.
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From S5 Style

4. S5-STYLE

S5 Style is a Studio focused on Art Direction, Interaction and Web Design, Photo and Movie Direction, and Front-end Development. Shogo Tabuchi, its founder, is one of The FWA judge, and is active in a wide variety of fields, including UI design and space design.

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S5-Style’s project for the Newspaper Asahi Shinbun featuring the popular manga Ellen.
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From Whatever.inc

5. WHATEVER.INC

Whatever is a creative studio that aims to conceive unexplored ideas, and bring them to life by whatever means possible. They are based in Tokyo, as well as New York, Taipei, and Berlin. They produce innovative work in a plethora of creative fields, like brand design, content production, service and product design.

Whatever.in’s project where they produced the music video smartphone game “ROCKMAN 20 XX 〜Fight! TEAM SHACHI〜” , a collaborative project of TEAM SHACHI and ROCKMAN (Eng: MEGAMAN) https://rocketqueen.games/
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From CINRA

6. CINRA

CINRA is a multilingual design agency based in Tokyo, that consists of expert planners, directors, designers, editors, and developers with a solid network of leading creators and established corporate partners. From music, art and design, and literature, to theater, film and television, CINRA cover almost every everything in the entertainment industry. They meet all bicultural communications needs thanks to their expertise in digital marketing and website production. Their range of services include building websites, copywriting, visual and print content, desktop publishing, video making, and event organizing.

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HereNow is one of CINRA’s brands. It’s a city guide highlighting what’s happening in cities across Asia.
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From Uniel

7. UNIEL

Uniel is a branding and design creative studio whose work thrives on empathy, cherishing a positive mindset. They take pride in always following the creative process from the very start to the very end, to make sure they have complete control and supervision of the projects they work on.

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Uniel’s project for HATCH, a producers company focused on developing businesses of different types and on realizing their wishes.
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From Garden Eight

8. GARDEN EIGHT

Garden Eight is a creative digital production team based in Tokyo. They are a team of seven people creating unique digital experiences through Visual and Web Design, and Web Development. What makes them really stand out is their elegant style and sapient use of animations and effects.

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Garden Eight’s web design projects RINN, a cat lifestyle brand that combines a refined style with expert technology.
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From Exonemo

9. EXONEMO

The Japanese artist unit “exonemo” (by SEMBO Kensuke and AKAIWA Yae) was formed in 1996 on the Internet. Their experimental projects are typically humorous and innovative explorations of the paradoxes of digital and analog computer networked and actual environments in our lives.

“Hello World: For Post-Human Age”
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From Shiftbrain

10. SHIFTBRAIN

Shiftbrain is a Design Agency with a versatile strategy that uses the power of creativity to create strong emotions to remain better imprinted into the viewers’ memory. Their clients include THE GINZA CO., Denso Corporations, Starbucks, etc.

Shiftbrain’s rebranding project for Shimane Misato, a small town with a population of about 4,600 people. Illustrating a town to make its townspeople fall in love with it again.
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11. ZIZO

Zizo is a Japanese award-winning creative company creating captivating content with the perfect blend of technology planning and design. Their vision is to offer some fun to the world and to add passion to their job. The headquarters are located in Osaka, but they also have an office in Tokyo and Barcelona.

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ZIZO’s project for Kyoro-chan, a bear shaped ice shaver first released in the 1970s. ZIZO planned and created this commemorative comeback website.
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12. AI.STEP

Ai.step is a performance unit consisting of Kakuya Shiraishi and Scott Allen. They do audio live coding and data visualization, which is performed by an AI based on machine learning and a human live coder. In their performance, deep learning is used for the code generation and writing of the sound synthesis programming language TidalCycles. The AI generates the code to be displayed in the editor on the screen and the performer selects the tone generated by the AI. This way, mutual complementation between human and AI is realized through live coding.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BnhEyrGDtHQ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
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13. PARTY

Party is a creative studio based in Tokyo, characterized by strong and vivacious aesthetics that captivate the youngest. They provide a wide range of services within Product and Service Design, Branding, and Entertainment. Clients include UNIQLO, Narita International Airport, Expo 2025, Wired, YAHOO Japan and many more.

Party’s project “EXPO 2025 OSAKA, KANSAI, JAPAN venue design for bidding” Exhibition at Mori Art Museum, built around concepts like decentralization and dispersion, representing the constant change in relationships between individuals and groups.
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14. DOT BY DOT

Dot By Dot inc. is a design and innovative technology company that creates and delivers across platforms, multi-media and multi-field projects for both national and international clients. Their team has been at the forefront of award-winning works for several years, dedicating themselves to web and mobile design, prototyping, as well as entertainment.

Design Matters 21 will take place in Copenhagen on Sep 29–30, 2021! We will explore new movements in digital design, and an amazing cast of digital designers will share their stories, expertise, and learnings.

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