Katsunari Shishido

Professional in Packaging Design.

About Katsunari Shishido

Cocodoru is a design studio that focuses on branding, packaging design, new style visual communication design, especially cases related to corporate identity, logos and emblems. The founder Katsunari Shishido learn design himself study, him own ideas and sensibilities, and continues to grow in search of new design communication to meet the diversifying needs of clients.

  • Winner of Packaging Design Award.
  • Specialized in Packaging Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Packaging
Kuniichi Food Package

Kuniichi Food Package

Packaging Design


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Interview with Katsunari Shishido

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
As a student, I was influenced by street culture such as skateboarding, graffiti and dance and became interested in graphic visual posters.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
I do art direction and design by myself, but I also do branding, naming, logo development, store design, illustration, and web design with my light footwork. We also plan and produce events regardless of genre, such as organizing.
What is "design" for you?
Design is an integral part of our lives, enriching us and making us indispensable. Design is made up of love.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
One of my favorite designs is a simple look that incorporates a variety of concepts. In other words, it's a logo.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
I'm sorry. There are too many nice designs to answer. Of course, I love my designs.
What was the first thing you designed for a company?
It's the name of my design office, Cocodoru. The Japanese version of Heart Dancing expresses heart as “Cocoro" and dancing as “Odoru", and it is a coined word combining the two languages, a naming that does not yet exist in the world.
When do you feel the most creative?
That's when I made a new discovery. From the words to the motifs, to the layout of the text, to the coloring, it's when I was able to create my own originality.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
It's exciting. It's always exciting and fun to design your own ideas.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
It makes you feel alive. Not all progress is going to be successful under trial and error and difficult to achieve circumstances. The design that was completed after that arduous process is equivalent to shaving a soul.
What makes a design successful?
It's a matter of whether or not you can create a design that will be completed and loved by the people who come after it.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
It's about conveying the concept without any superfluous things.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Regardless of the size of my role, can I make the community, the small things and the important people around me happy with my design? I think about this on a daily basis. I feel that designers have a role to play in making people happy and taking care of the earth.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Because we look at things from different angles, we can sometimes find small discoveries and unlikely connections. I think the design was born with that flexible 360-degree view.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I don't have a design theory because I didn't work for a company and spent my days learning and experimenting with design on my own. This makes it possible to create challenging designs in a unique way. And I only make designs that I enjoy.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I was born and raised in Japan. We are heavily influenced by our Japanese predecessors' designers. National treasures such as Katsushika Hokusai, Ogata Korin, and Ito Jakuchu are at the core of my work, with bold and delicate graphic design that is unimaginably old-fashioned. While I feel that the level of delicate production techniques in Japan is excellent, I feel that it is inferior to other countries in terms of major changes and bold differences.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
I don't use computers or other foots in the early stages of production. I compile my thoughts in notebooks and draw ideas and plans, and sometimes the notebooks serve as a proposal and are presented to the client. Only after we have a sense of direction for the project do we use a computer to share a completed image with the client. And spend a lot of time brushing up.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Condition your body and mind for more meaningful time and reflection. It starts with morning stretching/yoga, and meditation is a must. I take a break once an hour, refresh myself with my favorite chocolate and coffee, and use all of my day for work and thinking time.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
The good thing is that it gives you the ability to think. The bad part is that I look at the negative side of everything. People who are with me tend to think of me as a negative person because I tend to observe the negative aspects of services and things in the world, such as how I would think about them or what could be improved.
What skills are most important for a designer?
I think it's the ability to pump it out. How is the content of the request linked to society and how is it circulated and used by people? I think that design is not just about making things, but also about the structure.
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
I use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as my main software, and I manage everything on my Mac. I've had a plain Moleskine notebook for years and keep all the things, plans, and ideas from my notes in that notebook. Inspiration comes from carrying a compact camera and recording it. My favorite camera is Ricoh's GR.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
Prior to production, we propose a design that is close to the finish in the sketching and planning stages, taking as much time as possible to enhance the finished product. Within that, the production schedule is managed in hourly increments.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
At the time of the idea, the rough sketch, the object is roughly formed. However, it takes quite a few days to brush up.
What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
Where do the sensations and ideas come from? When do you think about it? I often get the question, "What do you think? Incidentally, the way to answer this question is that ideas and designs don't come about by chance, so it's something I'm always thinking about.
What was your most important job experience?
I didn't have a client to start with. I took the work from the people close to me and went to the present. That's why I value each project, not the company or the size of the project, so each one is an experience.
Who are some of your clients?
We mainly work with clients for branding, but we also provide logo and visual design services for new businesses, start-ups, company foundations, and brand development.
What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
The best part is the pre-process of creating a design. With a goal without an answer, how do we find a theme, solidify the concept as such, and what approach can we take to come up with as a design? I have the most fun when I'm working on a logo.
What are your future plans? What is next for you?
I want to be involved in creativity for the rest of my life. When the time comes for me to retire as a designer, I want to set up a learning space where I can spread the creative mindset.
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
I basically do everything from direction to design by myself. Depending on the case, a team may be formed.

Extended Interview with Katsunari Shishido

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
After graduating from a design school, he worked not for a design company but for a dance studio and a non-profit organization while experimenting with his own designs and working as a freelancer.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I wasn't an aspiring designer when I was a student, and I was heavily influenced by street culture. I was attracted to dance, skateboarding, graffiti, and hip-hop. That led to pop art, and I was so impressed by Andy Warhol's posters that I decided to become a graphic designer.
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
When I was running an event as a student, I was asked to create a poster for the event. At that point, I hadn't studied design in school, so I was an amateur, but I was making designs, but they weren't very complete. The more I studied from there, the more I was drawn to graphic design, and the more I became interested in poster design, the more I wanted to be a designer.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I do art direction and design by myself, but taking advantage of the lightness of footwork, I do branding, naming, logo development, store design, illustration, web design production. Sometimes we plan and produce events regardless of genre such as organizing.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
They say you need to value your peers and your team, but how dense your personal time can be is also important. It's important to gather information and gain experience, but I think it's also important to be able to experience the process of challenging, experimenting, and verifying to create everything with your own hands. In my case, I didn't have any seniors, teachers, peers, or bosses, so I experimented with design by groping and asking myself many times in order to establish my own style. I think I will be able to show even more strength in the team with my individual experience.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
I have a definition of what I consider to be good design when there is no waste and it is in beautiful condition. There is a simple existence of an indispensable thing, a convenience that is built into a hidden function without asserting itself, and the existence of a supporting role that does not interfere with the main but asserts its existence. The concept, the theme, the look, the function, the convenience and a little bit of margin in one brilliantly designed thing feels so great that it makes you drool.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
I have a definition of what I consider to be good design when there is no waste and it is in beautiful condition. There is a simple existence of an indispensable thing, a convenience that is built into a hidden function without asserting itself, and the existence of a supporting role that does not interfere with the main but asserts its existence. The concept, the theme, the look, the function, the convenience and a little bit of margin in one brilliantly designed thing feels so great that it makes you drool.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
The ability to put things together. To be able to look at things from different perspectives. The ability to draw anything. We focus on these three things. In order to identify problems and find improvement ideas that come across in the various requests, it is important to put them together in one piece. You can't be a designer if you think like other people, you have to have a 360-degree perspective and an eye for what no one else can see. From there, new ideas are born, and it's a question of whether you can draw the ideas in your head by hand first. The touch of handwriting, which is faster and more delicate than a computer, can open up even more possibilities for ideas. I think the most important thing is the process before you go into the design process using a computer.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
Ikko Tanaka (died in 2002), a Japanese graphic designer from his home country. He has received worldwide praise for his imposing and graceful style, sublimating Japanese shapes, colors and textures into modern design. He is a wonderful creator who knows the culture of the people of his country, from the inheritance from the historical culture of his home country to future insights, ukiyo-e prints, traditional performing arts, and so on, and uses them as the subject of visual expression in his contemporary creations.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is closely related to people's lives and exists everywhere. It enriches people, it's beautiful, it's functional, and it's able to express emotions. I believe that the design is also made of love.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
I am grateful for my loving partner, my family, Quarryant, and my favorite friends.
What helped you to become a great designer?
It's an exhilarating mind. I can't stop getting excited when I'm thinking about being creative. The first thing I get excited about is when I'm working on an idea. How do you aim for a goal that has no answer? That roadmap is the point where it's up to my ideas. The next step is when the idea actually takes shape. This is the moment when the blueprints in your mind come true. At the end of the day, the excitement of being able to please the client and the people in the future is like flying into space.
Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
I learned a lot from the Japanese manga in my home country. From the detailed setting to the characters, the background and message you want to convey, the layout, the expression of your emotions.
Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
He is what is called a master of the past. I would like to know how they completed the painting hundreds of years ago.
How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
It may be very important as a status, but what's important is that you can create a design that's benefiting the world.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I like the colorful taste, but I think monotones are colorful too.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
I have a habit of evaluating advertisements, billboards, store designs, products, and so on in my daily life, and people who are with me think I'm a weirdo.
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
I have a daily routine of diet, exercise, yoga, and meditation because a better design is only possible when you build your body and mind.

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