As artists, you’ll often find us looking for potential hideouts that are perfect for drawing in a quiet corner with complete contentment. We look high and low for places that are cool, calming, and filled to the brim with inspiration. However, here in Malaysia, these hideouts are practically impossible to find; either they are intensely hot outdoor parks that are only habitable on picturesque postcards, or they’re lunch-time jam-packed cafes with too much hustle and bustle, crashing your inspiration instantaneously.
When we first found Kinokuniya, we could not believe our eyes, ears, or noses. By sight, it was a labyrinthine bookstore waiting to be explored, transforming every adult into a child again; by sound, it was always the perfect volume of classical music lingering within the store; by smell, it was the undeniably faint scent of freshly-printed books at every corner you turn - certainly a booklover’s paradise.
It immediately became our happy place.
The idea was sparked by one of our designers, Philip. It tells the story of how a company with Japanese origins may be accustomed to experiencing four seasons in their homeland, but when they put down their roots tropical Malaysia, only two ‘seasons’ are to be expected here - Rain or Shine. We believe these two seasons also depict the two distinctive characteristics of readers - Contemplative and Casual.
The Mossery × Kinokuniya Shine series are made for the Casual - those always out with a book, and are unafraid to be loud and proud with their opinions. Books that are preferred by the Shine series owners may include Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling memoir Eat Pray Love, John Keats poetry, and any of Marie Kondo’s books. Perfect for the hopeless romantic who may or may not be superbly organized as well.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the dark and mysterious Rain series, designed for the Contemplative - those who prefer to stay in with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and a good book in their hands. An array of books written by Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, and a number of classical authors may be found on their bookshelves. Ah, nothing like a rainy day and a book on magic, owls, and gentle giants.
As their names reveal, Dandelion, Picnic, and Poolside from the Shine series are all inspired by different elements. As we were inspired by human activities in the process of creation, our designers were able to create louder and more vibrant graphics. Nonetheless, unlike its siblings, the Rain series were are all inspired by the single element of - you guessed it - rain, with each design mirroring the linear progression of raindrops - as represented by straight lines complemented by monochromatic tones to capture the mood of rainy days.
Gifting plays a significant role in the collaboration - we joined Kinokuniya to celebrate their 15th Anniversary here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, so we got our creative juices flowing again to design and produce a gift-wrapping method that is less bulky yet much more durable. Somewhere along the way, we found Furoshiki, which is essentially a type of Japanese cloth that is used to wrap items to be transported easily. It immediately won our hearts. To us, Furoshiki is not only a sustainable way of wrapping gifts, it is also aesthetically pleasing. Subsequently, it takes on the Japanese element of this collaboration as well.
The finishing touch to our collaboration with Kinokuniya was getting Yee Jin to come in and film for us. We’re extremely grateful to have had a personal friend of ours (who also happens to be a talented designer) to contribute a portion into this project, and the videos have really turned out great! They’re rich in sounds and textures, creating a very fulfilling experience for both the Rain and Shine series, clearly depicting very contrasting moods and emotions through both the 60-second videos.
As we’ve mentioned in the beginning, working with Kinokuniya has been dream-like, but more than ever, it’s a dream realized for us. To be able to collaborate with a global brand which we admire greatly has been a humbling experience, and moreover, we’re incredibly moved to have seen so much support emerge from the local makers. On behalf of team Mossery, we just want to say this: whether in rain or shine, we hope that you’ll never stop reading and be wildly creative with your boundless imagination.
There are no reading days.
There’ll be sunny days and rainy days
holidays and foggy days,
dark days and Mondays,
mild days and wild days
jazzy, bluesy days.
Picnic days and stay-in-bed days,
shopping days and birthdays,
but never reading days.
reading is really for
just as ideas can come knocking,
be it in sunshiny splendor
or stormy ways.
- Written by the talented folks from Kinokuniya.