Japanese culture has been on the rise in popularity here in the United Stated for many reasons and in many forms, one of them being “kawaii.” The Japanese word is best translated to English as “cuteness” and has grown recently into a national phenomenon and trend. When you think “Kawaii,” you should be thinking bright, colorful, and of course, cute.

Anime cartoons and characters are best for exemplifying the “kawaii” movement with their facial expressions, clothing styles and general features. Think of how cute most Pokemon characters and creatures are. Take Pikachu for example; bright yellow, red and black features and patterns, soft high-pitched voice acting, wider round eyes and adorable little hands. These things when added together make Pikachu a perfect example of “kawaii.”

According to an article by Sarah Gottesman, a writer for an online art database called Artsy, “Japan’s culture of cute began in the 1970s with a youth movement developed by teenage girls, involving handwriting in a childlike style. The new script was given a variety of names…and featured text with stylized lines, hearts, stars, Latin characters, and cartoon faces.”

This design is perfect for toy companies, plush or “squishy” manufacturers or general children’s toy companies, while also appealing to candy companies by helping target their fun and popping colors. Thinking of adding a softer, cuter and more fun style to your next set? Then be sure to ask us how MEC can incorporate “Kawaii” into your next design and check out the rest of our blogs for more design ideas!