Initial Ideas Creative Review Cover


After completing my research I began by sketching thumbnails some of the basic themes and images that could be present in my double page spread, for instance the word Yakuza written in Katakana and the logos for the three largest Yakuza families. There are also some ideas about using the Japanese flag in the cover designs as well as images of Irezumi which is the art of full body tattooing. All of these designs feature the Creative Review mast-head at the top of the page.

P1000171For this idea I was going to use a found image of a person with a full body tattoo and in Indesign or Photoshop recreate that tattoo and have that as the front cover. This however would have been too complex to do as it would have taken too long to recreate the tattoo design because of its complex design and also it would have been near to impossible to find get a photograph myself yo use instead of a found image.

P1000172My next idea was to have the logo for the largest Yakuza family the Yamaguchi-gumi to be in the front of the Creative Review in black and white, however people looking at the cover will not be familiar with logo and so wouldn’t associate the logo with Yakuza.

P1000173The next design was going to feature the word Yakuza written in Katakana with the translation underneath for people to understand and for the audience who do know what the Yakuza are will look at the article inside and buy the magazine.

P1000174This design would be the Japanese flag with the word Yakuza written in Katakana in the centre with the Creative Review mast-head at the top. The Japanese flag would tell anyone looking at the cover that it has something to do with Japanese subcultures.

P1000175The next design is structured so that it has the Japanese flag with Japan underneath with the fag having a lower opacity so that Japan can be seen with Yakuza written down the side. I believe this cover is the most informative as it has all the components for the reader to know it is about the Yakuza and in Japan.

P1000176This design has the mast-head for the Creative Review with Yakuza written down the side in Katakana with a Irezumi half sleeve tattoo design next to it. The tattoo design would have been too difficult to try to recreate on Photoshop and Indesign.

P1000177This design is a development of the logo design but this features the three largest Yakuza families in a triangle with the regular mast-head for Creative Review.

P1000178This design was an alternative to the Japanese Flag with the word Yakuza written across the front of the flag.


When looking for a typeface to match the Japanese theme of my designs I wanted a good typeface that didn’t look too stereotypical of Asian typefaces but still had an Japanese look and feel.

This typeface is OSAKA Sans Serif that I found on to use as the font that would be used on my headlines and perhaps on the cover to be used for specific words such as the translation from Katakana to English in this typeface. This typeface is my second favourite as although it looks appealing the dropped ‘y’ made it seem less appealing, although this can be altered in Indesign by increasing the size of the ‘y’ and altering its positioning.

Picture 1

The next typeface is called CF Samurai Bob which is the best typeface in my opinion because it looks japanese because of its straight lines and because of the characteristics of the ‘y’ looking like the Yen currency symbol. This typeface does look appealing, however I think it will look out-of-place with the curved lines of the word Yakuza written in Katakana.

Picture 2

The final typeface I found is called Orchidee which i found when looking at Chinese instead of japanese typefaces. This typeface is good and could  be used but I believe that the other fonts look more suitable for what I need because this seems like a typeface that would be used for articles about ancient Asian topics not the modern Yakuza.

Picture 3


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