Can we print in an environmentally and physically friendly way?


In a majority of cases, in Japan's printing industry, organic solvents are used. As they are raw materials from a large number of trees, a significant amount of energy is required, causing considerable damage to the environment. Among them is Ohkawa Printing, a long-established printing company with a long-standing history in Yokohama. Founded in 1881, this was the first company in the domestic printing industry to undertake "CO2 zero printing"–a groundbreaking achievement in environmental printing in Japan. However, such efforts by Ohkawa Printing and management were not well recognized, resulting in circumstances in which the value of "environmental printing" was not sufficiently exposed.


Defining the term "environmental printing" and applying this approach to the brand.


We superimposed the old atmosphere at the time of the port opening [1] with the traditional American culture, especially the music that had arrived. We symbolized the harbor city of Yokohama together with the identity of Ohkawa Printing, founded around the same time. The fonts, typography, and photographs express the spirit of Yokohama Blues music. By applying this to the website and business card, we re-branded the company to convey its pride and idea as a long-established printing company, situated in the heart of Yokohama. At the same time, with the new slogan "let's print with environmental printing," the phrase "THE SOCIAL PRINTING COMPANY," was developed as a guideline for Ohkawa Printing since 2003. By presenting the concept of environmental printing through none other than a long-established printing company, we aimed to become an industrial role model.

開港当時の古き良き空気感や、港の街である横浜を象徴するアメリカ渡来の文化を、同時代に創業した大川印刷のアイデンティティと重ね合わせ、横浜ブルースの精神を表現した書体やタイポグラフィ、写真をWebサイトや名刺に展開していくことで、横浜の老舗印刷会社としての誇りや理念を伝えるリブランディングを行いました。同時に、2003年から展開してきた大川印刷の指針でもある「 THE SOCIAL PRINTING 」というワードを、「環境印刷で刷ろうぜ」という新しいスローガンとともに打ち出し、老舗印刷会社から環境印刷の概念を提示していくことで、業界のロールモデルとなることを目指しています。

As representative Tetsuro Ohkawa is fond of blues music, we designed the business card to link together the concepts of Ohkawa Printing with Blues music. Accompanied are words of former Bluesmen to the photos of each employee, photographed in Bluesmen style, specified by CMYK. Through these business cards that will always be the first point of contact with customers, we hope that we can communicate the unique identity of the printing company indirectly, along with the personality of every employee.


When designing the website, which was the core element when branding Ohkawa Printing, we placed the phrase "THE SOCIAL PRINTING COMPANY" and "let's print with environmental printing," at the top of the website. The website was a mechanism to visualize its customers' contributions to the environment. There was an action set to offset the reduction of CO2 emitted by printing businesses. By using a digital counter that quantitatively counted carbon offsets Ohkawa Printing used, intuitions that conveyed environmental initiatives, encouraged customers to participate in further actions.

Ohkawa Printing is a long-established printing company with a history of over 100 years. On the website, we added trim marks and CMYK color schemes that imitated printing. We also used newspaper-like textures for the entire page. By also setting the background with a film of the time of its founding, we expressed the same style and history of its long-established printing company, within the digital age.

ブランディングの中核となるWebサイトのデザインでは「THE SOCIAL PRINTING COMPANY」「環境印刷で刷ろうぜ」というフレーズをトップに配置するとともに、どれくらい大川印刷のお客様が環境に貢献したかを可視化する仕掛けを取り入れました。大川印刷が取り組んでいるカーボン・オフセット(印刷事業によって排出されるCO2削減を打ち消す活動)を定量的に伝えるデジタルカウンターを設けたことで、環境の取り組みが直感的に伝わる仕様とすることで、顧客に対してアクションへの参加を促しています。100年を超える歴史を持つ老舗印刷会社であるため、WEBサイトにも印刷をイメージするトリムマークやCMYKの配色を配置し、全面に新聞紙のテクスチャを配置。創業当時の映像を背景とすることで、デジタル時代の老舗印刷会社らしい表現を追求しました。

A former emblem and logo mark that combines the shapes of bamboo dragonflies used in printing.​​​​​​​


We worked on art directing their original desk calendar, “Green Calendar.” To send out a clear message as a company that firmly insists on eco-friendly printing, not only is the ink-free of petroleum solvents but also uses thinned wood for the stand and thinned paper for both the mounting and packaging. Also, we made a thorough effort to generate sustainable elements such as changing only the calendar cards yearly, to be used again for the years to come.​​​​​​​


A company leading the SDGs business in Japan.


Ohkawa Printing received the "Japan SDGs Award Partnership Award" in 2018, given to companies and organizations who make efforts towards achieving sustainable development objectives (SDGs). Both in name and as one of the companies driving the management of SDGs in Japan, coupled with the effect of rebranding, lecture requests from all over the country have increased rapidly, showing business performance growing steadily. Currently, Ohkawa Printing continues to evolve towards the achievement of vision with rebranding, where we hope it will soon become a printing company that represents Yokohama.

大川印刷は、持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)達成に向けた取り組みを行う企業や団体に与えられる「ジャパンSDGsアワード パートナーシップ賞」を2018年に受賞しました。名実ともに日本におけるSDGs経営を牽引する企業のひとつとなったことで全国各地からの講演依頼が急増し、さらにリブランディングの効果なども相まって業績は順調に伸びています。歴史を背負い、これからも進化し続けることで横浜を代表する印刷会社になるというリブランディングを機に掲げたヴィジョンの達成に向けて、現在も大川印刷は発展を続けています。​​​​​​​

Japan SDGs Award Partnership Award (2018)

Yokohama, Japan
Art Direction
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)
Graphic Design
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Toshiyuki Nakaie, Shun Kudo, Kenny Walker, Ryota Mizusako)
Web Design
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Shun Kudo, Kenny Walker, Ryo Fukusawa)
NOSIGNER (Naoki Hijikata)

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