Museum of Japanese Art

Brand Experience, UX Design

UC Berkeley, UX Design Professional Program

ROLE Independent Project

DATE 2018


Much of Japan’s rise in art, culture and ceremonies can be connected back to Azuchi-Momoyama, the Japanese Renaissance period. How can a specific culture within a 10-year, socio-political context be studied and synthesized into a museum brand experience?


The museum brand targets people who are interested in Japan’s story and its cultural evolution at a turning point in its history. MOJA explores the intersection of the new and old.


Understanding the political climate, culture, rising traditions and styles of this period was the basis of creating the MOJA brand. By dissecting the images, sounds and objects of this time carefully, I was able to create a cohesive theme using key attributes garnered from the research.

Brand System Design

The logo was used fluidly as a graphic symbol throughout the system as I experimented with its capacity in various forms like stationary, brochures, and posters. Each design went through 3-5 iterations, and critiques from peers, and professors. Areas of improvement were focused in visual design principles such as axial and grid systems. The poster was designed first in the creative process. After creating the logo system, it underwent iterations to match the typography, and design style guide.

Mobile Brand Application

Using the visual design principles that we had gained and the intensive background research we had done throughout the graphic design process, we were then given the option to create web or mobile designs. For my mobile project, I focused on creating an experience that would force users to take their time and let them truly experience the time period.

Research + Project Brief Definition

At this time in Japan’s history, the nation was transitioning from war to peace and experiencing international influences from China and Korea. This time period was known specifically for the use of black ink on gold parchment. Interior design evolved as these paintings served as divisions between rooms and played a big part in the atmosphere of Japanese tea ceremonies. A mood board and concept image helped define the key attributes of the brand.

Brand Inspiration - Mood image: Japanese Byōbu (folding screen) artwork.
Logo Design

Over 50 logos were brainstormed before narrowing down to 15 and then top three designs. The last logo design went through an exhaustive amount of iterations before finally being ready to implement into a design system. Logos were created using symbolism from the sunrise, sword guards, and nature i.e. clouds, bamboo and lotus.

Mobile Wireframes

Instead of the traditional UX process, we instead interviewed our peers to gather data on what information would be most relevant to include based on our museum concepts. Unlike most museums apps, the mobile application was designed with the intention of exploring the art instead of going straight to purchasing tickets. I used the logo once again as a graphic element by utilizing it as a scroll feature. I also imitated the style of paintings during this time by paying homage to the black ink paintings on yellow parchment.

Lo-FI and Hi-fi wireframes (Iteration 1)