Editorial / Photography

A quarterly lifestyle journal inspired by Japanese aesthetics and dedicated to celebrating the imperfect, impermanent and the incomplete. 


Live with joyful purpose. ikigai emphasizes finding joy and purpose in life. Inspired by Japanese aesthetics, this journal celebrates the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete, emphasizing the importance of the everyday. ikigai, itself, translates to ‘reason for being’. It is a state of mind, a kind of thoughtfulness that is often associated with longevity and harmony. 



A careful curation of color, content and photography, ikigai seeks to create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. If ikigai journal was a scent, it would have the spicy, citric notes of the Sugi tree, a form of red cedar native to Japan and often planted in places of peace or found in small linen sachets in the drawers of our dressers. If ikigai journal was a kind of fabric, it would be boro, a kind of patchwork, woven indigo-dyed textile created to extend the life of fabric scraps. It is a piece of love and labor, just like this journal. 



There are a plethora of “lifestyle” journals on the market. Many of these journals revolve around a kind of materiality - physical things or habits people should have and do in order to be happy, successful, or wealthy. ikigai differentiates itself by staying true to the aesthetic in which it is named for. It is about a sense of being and the journal explores how this inner harmony manifests itself in our lives, tapping into the nostalgic, sentimental mindset often found within the journal’s millennial target audience.

The journal is designed on a shifting grid. Columns systematically vary in width and length, while staying consistent in a typographic style that reflects the issue’s theme. This lends a gentle, honest, and organic sensitivity to the journal. Coupled with subtle playfulness in callouts and quotes, ikigai speaks volumes in a modest, subtle way that reflects the identity and mindset of the Japanese aesthetics that inspired it. Designed with fresh air, quiet spaces and the kind of intangible warmth that comes from loving and being loved in mind, ikigai is designed to represent a moment of quietude and repose for those who dwell within its pages.