Typepro 3 – Research Part 3: Re-inventing

Posted on: February 14, 2011

I’m stuck between either creating a new brand of wine or producing a new design for the Hello Kitty Wine line. The Hello Kitty approach seems fun but may limit how far my imagination can go. I also like the idea of creating my own wine label and brand. At the current moment I’m drawn towards creating my own wine brand ^.^

 As I was thinking about a brand name, I decided on the name: ‘Kawaii Ai’. This means ‘cute love’ in Japanese ^.^ I thought this name was suitable for the type of wine I want to design: Fun, bubbly, sweet and cute. I think using Japanese characters will make the design quite different and fun ^.^ I researched the different types of writing systems the Japanese use, (Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana) to find out which characters to use to spell out Kawaii Ai.

Info on the Japanese writing systems: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_writing_system

Japanese Hiragana (ordinary syllabic script)

Hiragana syllables developed from Chinese characters and it was originally called ‘onnade’ or ‘women’s hand’ as it was a writing system used mainly by women (men wrote in kanji and katakana). During the early years of Hiragana, there were often many different characters to represent the same syllable which caused some confusion. However, this writing system was eventually simplified so that there was a one-to-one relationship between spoken and written syllables By the 10th century, hiragana was used by everybody.

Hiragana syllabary

Long vowels

How long vowels are written in hiragana

Image Source: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_hiragana.htm

Characteristics and Usage of Hiragana

The hiragana syllabary consists of 48 syllables and is mainly used to write word endings, known as okurigana in Japanese. Hiragana are also widely used in materials for children, textbooks, animation and comic books, to write Japanese words which are not normally written with kanji, such as adverbs and some nouns and adjectives, or for words whose kanji are obscure or obsolete.

Hiragana are also sometimes written above or along side kanji to indicate pronunciation, especially if the pronunciation is obscure or non-standard. Hiragana used in this way are known as furigana or ruby. In horizontal texts, the furigana appear above the kanji and in vertical texts, the furigana appear on the right of the kanji. In newspapers it is a legal requirement for furigana to be attached to kanji which are not included in the official list of the 1,945 most frequently used kanji. Newspapers in fact rarely use kanji not included in this list.

Info Source: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/japanese_hiragana.htm

I have decided to use hiragana because of the connection with usage in materials for children, animation and comic books. I think it creates a connection with the presence i want to present – cute and fun.

The hiragana for Kawaii Ai looks like this: かわいい あい

However, I don’t want the to create the impression that this wine brand could potentially be seen as targeting children and young teens. The Hello Kitty Wine brand is produced in Tenimenti Castelrotto in Italy and they believe the brand is both sophisticated and grown up enough to sell wine.

The winery stated the following:

‘Hello Kitty is not just for children. She is a recognised cult fashion icon among teenagers and adults around the world,’ said winemaker Patrizia Torti, whose family owns Castelrotto.

I need to ensure there is a sophisticated side to my brand to ensure it is not mistaken for children.


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