KMK Studio is the practice of designer & creative director Kenzo Mayama Kramarz. We value intelligent, considered, and meaningful design responses for both commissioned work and self-initiated projects.
Having built up a career spanning over 15 years, including leading creative positions at BBH London and Google, our expertise includes disciplines such as branding, product design and communications.
We team up with startups, global brands and other studios on design–led projects.
Recent collaborations include:
Awards, press & publications, exhibitions and talks, 2016 – ongoing.
2019 / Awards: D&AD London 2 pencils and 1 shortlist / One Show Awards NY 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 merit / Webby Awards NY 1 winner and 1 nominee / Press & publications: Tech Crunch San Francisco / Communication Arts, Interactive Annual / Creative Review, Best in Book / Talks: Rio Dataviz, Rio de Janeiro.
2018 / Awards: Cannes Outdoor Lion / Finalist Cannes Lion (x3) / Press & publications: Visual Style, Abrams Books, New York / Revista Piauí, Rio de Janeiro / O Globo, Rio de Janeiro / Folha de São Paulo / Exhibitions: Art Connexion, Grand Palais, Paris / Avalanche, Rio Festival, Rio de Janeiro / Talks: Descomplica, Rio de Janeiro.
2017 / Awards: Webby Awards Winner, NY / Webby Awards People’s Choice, NY / Finalist Cannes Cyber Lion / Brazilian Design Biennial Jury Prize, Brasília / BIMA Awards Winner, London / Press & publications: Steven Heller Interview, Print Magazine, New York / O Globo, Rio de Janeiro / Band News Interview, São Paulo / Band News FM Interview, Rio de Janeiro / SBT News, Rio de Janeiro / Ricardo Boechat, Band News, São Paulo / Creative Club Blog, São Paulo / Brazucas Interview, CCRJ Rio / Correio Brasiliense, Brasília / IdeaFixa, São Paulo / Exhibitions: Brazilian Design Biennial, Caixa Brasília.
2016 /Awards: Tech Campaign Awards, London / Press & publications: Campaign Magazine, London / Interview Computer Arts UK, London / Princeton Architectural Press Blog, NY / Talks: Shelter, London.
Interview featured at the Computer Arts UK, November 2016. Words by Rosie Hilder, Editor.
Having worked as a freelance creative director for Google and as design director for ad agency BBH, Kenzo Mayama Kramarz is certainly not lacking experience. His own studio, KMK Studio, was officially set up two years ago, but Mayama Kramarz was so busy with Google that it remained a side project until this summer. He tells us about how his Hackney-based studio is influenced by his past work, and how it works in practice.
Why did you decide to set up your own studio, and why did now feel like the right time to properly give it a go?
Setting up my own studio came from a desire to create a space where I felt more in control of my own time and creative attention. I wanted to focus on developing a more personal voice, which would reflect the experiences I had working across graphic design, digital and advertising. It just happened to be the right time to do so, and it’s been a cool ride so far.
What kinds of projects have you been working on in your new studio?
It’s been a mix of commissioned and personal work. My objective is to provide creative direction with a strong emphasis on design, in relation to both process and execution. Recent projects include a digital experience for Google Play, which merges iconic films and their locations, and a bespoke typography that comments on London’s housing crisis.
How have your experiences working both for a large ad agency (BBH) and client-side at Google helped you?
All these experiences were extremely valuable and helped me shape the vision I try to implement in my studio today. At BBH, it was a constant exercise of converting brand strategy into compelling storytelling, whereas with Google I was able to explore different ways of using technology to touch people’s lives.
Your studio is focused on design and interactive direction, what does that mean to you and why is it important?
Interactive direction, in my opinion, means making sure a piece of digital work ticks all the important boxes: it has to be accessible, have a clear sense of purpose, and be remarkable or delightful.
Do you have any employees?
At the moment it’s a one-man studio supported by friends and collaborators that I occasionally team up with, depending on the project. These people are designers, coders, photographers and illustrators, and are not only a pleasure to work with, but also enormously expand the creative reach of the work I do.
What advice would you give someone planning to set up their own studio?
When I decided to leave BBH, Sir John Hegarty gave me one piece of advice that I revisit on a regular basis: have a point of view.