Keiz are a very stylish young team of graphic designers and silk-screen printers with whom we quickly discovered a shared mindset, as well as a similar sensitivity to market trends and aesthetics.
For our collaboration we wanted the design process to be shared between our two teams, with Keiz designing the graphic patterns, and SCA proposing the product formats. The result is a collection of tableware and kitchen linens based on the notion of Gifu as the ‘land of clear water’. There are two key designs; one shows the reflection of the moon in a waterfall, the others reflects the ripples seen on a lake or river. The unique material used in the collection is made of washi fibres native to the Gifu region.
I am particularly fond of the ingenious and innovative universal apron which Keiz designed for us based on traditional Japanese clothing and values; it can be used in many ways, depending on the wearer’s preference and needs.
Keiz’s hometown of Gujo, often credited as being the birthplace of Japanese silkscreening, sits nestled in the the mountains of Gifu.
Since it’s founding 45 years ago, Keiz has trained many of the printmakers in Gujo. Their range of products includes shrine banners, shop ‘noren’ and ‘tenugui’ hand towels, as well as more recently the introduction of original designs and creative products.
The prints in the collection pay homage to both the iconic Gifu Nagara river, as well as the Amida waterfalls which inspired the famous Hokusai painting of the same name.
The designs in the range, most notably the apron, take inspiration from the concept of TANMONO, the ethos behind traditional Japanese clothing, like the Kimono. Whereas western clothing is cut and sewn to a three- dimensional form, kimonos are made from fabric that is sewn flat so that it generates almost no waste. The collection also draws on the concept of OHASHORI by which a garment can transform and adjust to the user’s size and needs by way of clever folding.