A space symbol
PAOS’ 1984 logo for Japanese tile and bathroom company INAX
The early 1900s saw an increase in foreign visitors to Japan. Seizing the opportunity, the Imperial Hotel commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to design a striking new building in Tokyo. His design required the moulding and specialist firing of unique terracotta tiles. To handle this project, a factory was established in the city of Tokoname, and Hatsunojo Ina and son Chozaburo were given the roles of technical advisors. When the hotel was completed in 1924, the duo took on the workers and equipment to establish Ina Seito Co., which continued producing tiles for the Japanese market.
Over the following decades, the company grew into an industry leader, and expanded into the sanitary market, manufacturing ceramic plumbing fixtures, wash basins and baths, as well as developing the Japanese ‘shower toilet’.
Ahead of the company’s 60th anniversary in 1984, president Teruzo Ina initiated the development of a new name and corporate identity. This would form part of a larger programme of renewal which would go on to include the creation of a fresh set of corporate principles known as ‘INAX5’, the launch of ‘XSITE’ a showroom concept and ‘XyLIFE’, a new bathroom-interior shop.
The scope of such a project, which included naming, strategy, divisional identities and three dimensional design, required vast cross-disciplinary expertise. PAOS, known for building specialist teams for each of their corporate identity (CI) projects, was given the commission.
Continue reading to understand the ideas behind the logo and colour palette, and see how these were applied to signage, stationery and vehicle liveries.