A waxing moon
Rei Yoshimura & PAOS Inc's 1975 logo for Daiei
‘The Housewife’s Store Daiei’ (株式会社ダイエー) opened its doors in 1957, and was located near Sembayashi Station in the Japanese city of Osaka. In its early years the retailer, founded by Mr. Nakauchi, was known for selling medication and groceries, with a strict discount strategy that gave it a competitive advantage. Thanks to their discount prices, innovative distribution methods, and no-nonsense approach to wholesalers, Daiei grew quickly; out-pricing its rivals until it became a leading national chain and one of the largest supermarkets in Japan.
In 1972 Daiei would surpass the Mitsukoshi Department store to become the top retailer in the country. This achievement was marked by a period of reflection for the chain; a time to review its pre-existing design and visual communications.
The following year, in 1973, Daiei formed a corporate identity team and approached PAOS – a design consultancy founded by “father of Asian Corporate Identity,” Motoo Nakanishi – to assist with the research and development of a new design system. PAOS (ASICS, Noritiz, Kenwood) coordinated a competition for the development of Daiei’s identity system, which began in April 1974.
The key criteria for the design was to express “reliability, security, a simple and unaffected strength, an international and forward-looking attitude, and the leadership and energy characteristic of the nation's number-one retailer.” The design would also have to be developed into a broad and cohesive system across a number of applications, therefore it needed to have a versatility and variety.