Ever noticed how looking for something colorful on stock photo sites inevitably brings up some candies and sweets photos? It’s probably the colorful thing that appeals the most to our inner-child. In Japan, they also produce traditional confectionary name wagashi. I can’t tell you about the taste of it, as I haven’t tried it for myself, but it definitly looks beautiful.
Wagashi is an important part of Japanese culture, at least important enough to get a book dedicated to the topic. As you can guess, such a book had to be at least as beautiful as the sweets itself. With Ikkoan, it’s safe to say that Tokyo-based creative director Ryusuke Nanki succeeded in creating a gorgeous publication dedicated to the delicacies.
The most spectacular thing about the design of this book is no contest the original case made for it. This case was built using the same material that is used for wagashi packaging: paulownia wood. It opens by sliding up, revealing half of the book cover.
Inside that package, you find the hardcover 199 pages book, printed in Japanese, English, and French. The cover itself is a minimast white-on-white text, delicately embossed with shapes that look like the shapes of the package pieces.
As you can see, the layout is also pretty minimal, but contains everything you need. The Japanese name of each sweet is written in a vertical format, with the core text about it is set in a single column, perhaps a bit too close to the center of the book.
The photography work is probably the best part about this book, with one photo of the full wagashi on the left page on a white background, and a spectacular close-up on the right page.
Some wagashi pictures, so you know what we are talking about.
Close-up on the cover and the embossed titles.