Finding a visual way to convey a business's core values can be tricky. For Banda, however, the choice was obvious: the traditional illustrations of Japanese artist Yoco Nagamiya
Advances in technology have changed every facet of our daily lives and, when it comes to improvements in computer-generated imagery (CGI), the line between fantasy and reality is increasingly blurred. CGIs hold an invaluable place in the modern world and their use is amazingly varied, from depicting virtual worlds in films and computer games to creating full-length animated features.
However, as the boundaries of computer-aided technology continue to be pushed, there will always be those who hark back to more traditional forms of expression. And what truer mode is there than something drawn by hand?
When Banda was considering how to present a new collection of residential developments on its website, it eschewed standard architectural CGI in favour of the illustrations of Japanese artist Yoco Nagamiya. The collaboration has proved enormously successful, with Nagamiya’s beautiful drawings depicting the façades of Radstock House, Richmond Brewery and the Heritage Collection at Parkgate House – and more work from her is in the pipeline.
Passionate about drawing since the age of three, Nagamiya studied illustration at Japan’s renowned Masa Mode Academy of Art. There, she trained in the ancient Sumi-e style of painting, in which form is expressed as simply as possible. She was originally interested in illustrating children’s books, but her elegant, graceful drawings quickly found their niche in fashion. Her work has been featured in Vogue, InStyle and Harper’s Bazaar and she has designed packaging, limited-edition bottles and campaign imagery for Jo Malone London.
Working primarily in pen, ink and watercolours, she employs simple, curved line work and subtle blushes to give her art an ethereal, effortless quality. She says: ‘I have an interest not only in women’s fashion but also in women’s emotional responses to it. Women are fascinating creatures, both complex and delicate. I want to express these qualities in my illustrations.’
How then, does the rigid structure of architecture compare? Has it tested you or is the approach the same?
‘It’s a bit difficult to use straight lines instead of curved lines for a figure, but Banda’s commission wasn’t a challenge, as I like architecture and interiors.’
What are the merits of traditional illustration over standard, true-to-life CGI?
‘We appreciate something created carefully by hand. It feels really special. I like the way that Banda wants to present its property in this manner.’
Banda has always sought to go against the grain, and has a history of collaborating with up-and-coming talent from a variety of creative backgrounds. With Nagamiya, Banda has found a natural partnership. Properties such as Parkgate House and Richmond Brewery are the result of carefully considered design, balancing unique historical detail with modern innovation. By using a traditional medium like illustration, these ideals are beautifully expressed, as something that has been designed to last.