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exprime / maiagonomi

Design that Connects Japanese Style and French Esprit

The World Can Be Changed by Altering Viewpoints

Parisian Maïa Manigilier flipped around the last "e" of Exprime when she was designing the logo for her company Exprime Inc. She wanted a visual image of her concept, which is "to alter viewpoints".
Maïa designs a wide variety of products from company logos, catalogues, websites, liquor packages, gift items and magazines. What she is focusing on nowadays is "Maïa-gonomi," an original brand of modern and stylish goods which is infused with a new Japanese worldview.
"Mixing a French view into something traditionally Japanese... by altering the point-of-view, the impression changes dramatically," says Maïa, who talks about her approach towards design in fluent Japanese.

Sense of Style that was Cultivated in the Most Beautiful City in the World

Maïa was not brought up in an affluent environment but her playground during childhood included museums in Paris that opened every Sunday free of charge."It was fun to go to the Louvre on Sundays. Parisians are good at coordinating themselves stylishly without spending a lot of money."
Maïa studied Japanese literature in college and came to Japan in 1989. With the coming of the internet era, she began working for a web design company.She then met designer Tatsuya Oka. They began working together and eventually got married. Maïa is the producer, and Tatsuya and his team handle the designs.

Japanese Spirit learned through Aikido

"The ultimate victory is not to battle," is Maïa's philosophy that she gained from Aikido (a type of martial arts). No competing with competitors and no bargaining with clients. Thinking about the clients wholeheartedly and working with sincerity. Maïa's motto is to offer happiness and satisfaction that exceeds the clients' expectations.
Maïa has had bittersweet experiences where she had to redo a design many times due to frustrations and regrets in not being able offer a satisfying design. However, her pride and passion towards her work has never been lost.

"It makes me happy that my creations help make this world a bit more classy and stylish". Maïa's keen viewpoint reminds us of how beautiful this country is.

Creative Director Maïa Manigilier

Moved to Japan in 1989, after obtaining a masters degree in Japanese and Japanese culture from the Universite de Paris.
Began working independently in 1994 after working for the Saison Group and at an architectual firm.
Established a graphic design firm exprime inc.in 1997, and as President, continues to direct creative design projects in various fields.
Currently undertaking numerous projects that connect French and Japanese people and culture. Also, actively involved in projects that involve Japanese culture and lifestyle.

Committee member of Les Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France (CCE)。
Author of "A Parisian's Kimono Handbook" (Diamond, Inc.)
Hobby is playing the Taiko (Japanese drum)