President & Art Director
Born in Japan, Kuni is a graduate of Osaka University of Arts where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Over 18 years of experience in corporate and brand identities, brochures, image programs, promotions, packaging, websites, digital media, and spatial design. He recently worked with Hilton Grand Vacations creating marketing tools, brochures and a website for their Japan market. He also has worked with DFS Galleria Waikiki to help design their brochures and other forms of collateral catering to the Japanese market. Companies such as Hawaii Tourism Japan and Ito En USA called upon his digital media expertise in designing an official YouTube brand channel “HiTube”, and corporate Hawaii website. He also designed the corporate identity for Wincubic.com,Inc which publishes the No.1 Japanese magazine about Hawaii–”Aloha Street”. He produced total design packaging, brochures, promotional and advertisement tools for the new brand “BABA’S COFFEE”. JTB Hawaii consulted his wide spectrum of design expertise when deploying their new Oli Oli Walker “Whale Bus” Project in which he handled all aspects of the total branding design and development from: branding design, character design, vehicle graphics, novelty goods, uniforms, etc.
He also worked as an art director for eight years at one of the biggest design firms in western Japan: AIDMA. His clients included some of Japan’s most prestigious companies such as Panasonic and NTT Group (largest telecommunication company in Japan). Uprooted in 2005, he came to Hawaii and joined CLD as vice president and established an international division in order to provide Japanese-related companies with high quality design services. He also established a web division which has enabled the office to effectively execute a total corporate identity program, encompassing integration of all three areas: graphic, environmental, and website design in both English and Japanese.
In 2003, his work made its debut in the TOKYO DESIGNER’S WEEK show. In 2005, his work was nominated for the GOOD DESIGN AWARD in Japan. In 2006, he was featured in the lifestyle magazine “Esquire Japan” as a Japanese creator. Awards include 2009~2017 AAF PELE AWARDS in Hawaii–Winners, 2011~2015 AIGA HAWAII’S 50–Winners, SUMMIT CREATIVE AWARD—Best of Show, 2009/2011/2016 HOW PROMOTION DESIGN AWARDS—Award of Merit, 2014/2015 HOW INTERNATIONAL AWARDS—Award of Merit, and 2013/2014 HOW INTERACTIVE DESIGN AWARDS—Award of Merit.
As CLD approaches its 50th anniversary, Kuni founded the 111-HAWAII PROJECT, an officially certified project endorsed by Hawaii Tourism Japan. This idea spawned out of his deepest gratitude for Hawaii, as a way to try and give back to the local community. Working together with local businesses, he aims to develop stronger branded products that can be sold in Hawaii and revitalize the community while at the same time donating portion of the sales toward helping local non-profit organizations in Hawaii.
Member of the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA)
Member of the Japan Graphic Designers Association (JAGDA)