Toyo Ink
COLOR FINDER (color swatch book)  (2005)

Client: Toyo Ink Manufacturing Co., Ltd.

This was a design renewal project for a 30-year-old color swatch book set, published by the company which had made the first such book in Asia―Toyo Ink―in commemoration of the centennial of its founding.

The color swatch book set, according to Toyo Ink, is its only direct connection with the end users, and its renewed design was aimed at achieving higher usability, from a universal design perspective. To do that, Takahashi reassessed the "behavioral" aspect of how the books were used and how they were organized.

She designed each book to be one-hand-operable, with the storage box in a shape that helps the user locate a particular book no matter at which angle it is positioned. In the renewed design, each book is easy to take out and stays uncluttered. The compact box can be conveniently stored anywhere.

Takahashi structured this product as follows: Color swatches are classified into five groups, designated by numerals 0-4, with the color of each book's cover representing the scheme of colors contained within. She designed each book to represent the respective color selection's raison d'être. Each sheet, which has a greater number of perforated chips than the original version, is designed with larger text, an easy-to-read font, and character- and line-spacing to maximize usability, even to the extent of minute details.

She designated the book containing the ink formulas as book #0, to incorporate color fundamentals as well as the corresponding color for enhanced usability.

Takahashi used special binding screws for the books to symbolize the product being the standard and linchpin of Toyo Ink's operation and to add panache to the design.

The renewal project was indeed a process of formulating a new approach toward printing inks, and the result was a genuinely client- and user-centered design made possible only because Takahashi had been working with inks and colors for a long time.

She also took part in the magazine ad design project for COLOR FINDER.

Note: COLOR FINDER can be purchased via Toyo Ink's online shopping site (and purchasers are entitled to receive "Color Finder for UD," a support tool for Color Universal Design [CUD]).