Online, translation is not always needed. Design speaks all languages, as does color and typography. Some days you may not get the fine print, but when the content is as impressive as the work of the good people at Shift, you don’t always need to sweat the small stuff.
I first picked up on Shift over a decade ago. This, in context, is pretty inspiring in itself. These purveyors of Japanese digital art and culture have been carving their own niche for as long as I’ve been using the Internet. They first launched when I was living in Japan and continue to hold my interest after more than a decade.
Their appreciation for design runs deep. It always gives me a kick to see who they’ve asked to design the front page each monthly issue. It ranges from London DJ and designer Trevor Jackson to Bob Sanderson, who used to be lead doer-of-things at the mighty Designer’s Republic.
Shift gives you an amazing look into a city that never gets the props it deserves: The cultural and technological hub of Sapporo.
Their unabashed need to cover anything they damn well please is very much a Sapporo aesthetic. Unlike Tokyo, which has this need to be right here right now, Sapporo has always ridden its own wave of thinking. It comes with its detachment from the rest of Japan.
When you’re that far north and can see Siberia, you plow your own furrow. Shift has done that by taking a uniquely international look at art, culture, literature and more form their unique viewpoint, almost at the top of the world.