storm from the east

About + work

Learning to let go

» Design, Work


Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.

Okay, that's enough Disney. We haven't even seen the film, and this has nothing to do with ice and stuff.

We've just finished a massive project for local government in Japan and, as the creative part draws to an end and the implementation part gets going, we're learning to let it go. It's not as easy as it sounds, as we've had our fair share of battles along the way (including time and funding constraints meaning we got it finished a whole year ahead of schedule).

But the point is, we know that we didn't create this project for us - it was always for others and we've always encouraged experimentation and continued development, so we can hardly go back on that just because we've made something we're very attached to.

Some projects are like that. You put so much time, effort and work into them that they become very personal, especially for projects which have the power to impact many people in an important area of their lives (in our case, the project is for schools, so it's students and teachers who will be affected).

But you still have to remember that at some point you'll no longer be involved. You have to trust that you've done enough, explained enough, and created a project good enough that it'll do just fine when you're no longer around.

And we're sure we have. We're really proud of it and although there are still a few months work involved finishing some materials and doing some training, we're ready to move on and start looking forward to some projects we've put on the back burner.

So instead of feeling a bit sad and wary, we're incredibly happy with what we've achieved and happy to see it going into more than capable hands.

The People's Bench by Anonymous

» Design, Furniture


I like this a lot. The People’s Bench (坐人) is a public bench designed by Anonymous using salvaged wood from Singapore’s national parks.

How to get people to support your idea

» Branding, Business, Work

Clients might be questioning your ideas not because they think they're crap, but because they haven't got a clue what you're banging on about.

Here are some ways to make it a lot easier.


1) Explain things clearly

The best ideas are easy to explain because they're so well thought out. If you need a detailed presentation, big words, and tons of technical terms, you might need to rethink just how good your idea is.

Continue reading "How to get people to support your idea" »

Choosing a brand is not like picking a color you like

» Branding, Design


The new, crowd sourced design for the city of Florence has been attracting a lot of attention recently, a lot of which hasn't been too positive.

Writing in the Atlantic, Steven Heller says that the results are "less than memorable, and the way the concept was executed raises questions about the interaction of politics, business, and design." Milton Glaser went further, and made a comment that highlights a common misunderstanding about brand identity design:

Continue reading "Choosing a brand is not like picking a color you like" »

Act in good faith, or don't act at all

» Work

"Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire." - Confucius

It's very easy to give advice when you're not the one who has to act upon it.

Continue reading "Act in good faith, or don't act at all" »

Client privacy and online porfolios

» Branding, Design


Do your clients know or care what you're sharing?

Continue reading "Client privacy and online porfolios" »

Neurotrend branding by Vladimir Shlygin

» Behance Monday, Branding, Design
Result Result-5

The sycophantic comments on Behance sometimes make me a bit nauseous, but in this case they're warranted. This branding by Vladimir Shlygin for a neurological research centre is beautiful.

See the whole project on Behance

Mass intrusion and spying: where's the outrage?

» Culture

Anybody with a passing interest in things going on in the world might have heard of Edward Snowden. He's revealed previously unknown details of a global surveillance apparatus run by the United States' NSA in close cooperation with its "Five Eyes" partners: Australia (ASD), Great Britain (GCHQ), Canada (CSEC), and New Zealand (GCSB).

The spy agencies can harvest any data they want from anybody they want. This includes emails, documents, chats, phone calls, pictures and conversations - anything you can do with a phone, tablet or computer. What they do with it nobody seems to know, and just when you think it can't get any worse, it does.

Continue reading "Mass intrusion and spying: where's the outrage?" »

Designing something memorable and meaningful

» Design, Work

Dieter Rams radio

Good design is making something intelligible and memorable. Great design is making something memorable and meaningful. ~ Dieter Rams

Continue reading "Designing something memorable and meaningful" »

Bullshit – however well designed – will not survive very long

» Branding, Design


Some very interesting conversations are popping up about edenspiekermann's update to the Amsterdam branding.

Continue reading "Bullshit – however well designed – will not survive very long" »


Thanks for popping in.
We're a branding, design & communication partnership in Tokyo.

We've been designing, writing and making nice things since 2006. You can get an idea of how we can help you by looking here.

Our blog features articles, books, posts and resources on branding, design, language and more.

We sometimes share our designs, illustrations, pictures and more, both commissioned and for fun. Have a look here.

We also play with various ideas from time to time.Why not come and play in our concept room?


A selection of books written by us and books we love. Who doesn't love books? Enjoy!


The ads keep us in tea, and we love tea. Please click generously. If you'd like your ad to be here, all you have to do is ask. Well, ask and pay a bit. Thank you.

Hello. storm from the east is about branding, design and communication. We live in Tokyo.

If you're stuck on how to improve what you've already got, you want to start something new, or you're sick of seeing people doing worse work for more money, maybe we can help.

Get in touch:
[email protected]

© storm from the east / Compass Language Studio 2006-1014

What we do

From our workshop we help people understand their business better and make everything run much more smoothly. We help with design, marketing, language and more.
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Stuff to read and look at

Concept room

Our other work

We're also the founders of Compass Language Studio focusing on language and education.