storm from the east


About us & what we do

Who is your competition?

» Branding

In the past I've used ten questions to help people think about their branding, which you can see here. I've modified them quite a bit, and as a partnership we tend to use much more targeted questions. The reason I mention them is because one of them always generated a lot more information than the rest:

Do you have any competitors? Who are they? How are you different?

I've been constantly surprised by how some people could go into minute detail abbout a variety of competitors, yet give vague, bland answers to question like What exactly are your products and/or services? What qualities do they have? or What is your speciality?

I think people have got it arse about face, but perhaps it's no surprise why.

Continue reading "Who is your competition?" »

Have Illustrator and Photoshop, will design for cash

» Design

I liked this post by Seth Godin (I like a lot of his posts), especially this part:

Years ago, you had to work with a quill or a manual typewriter. You needed to wait for the post office and you had no free and highly-leveraged outlet for your work to be seen by others. You had no access to a huge, instant and free library of the work that has come before... and yet, despite all of those missing elements, great work was created.


Continue reading "Have Illustrator and Photoshop, will design for cash" »

The Design Method by Eric Karjaluoto

» Books, Design

The design methodSmashLAB kindly sent me a copy of Creative Director Eric Karjaluoto's book, The Design Method: A Philosophy and Process for Functional Visual Communication (seen gracing the shelves of our studio), and being the incredibly punctual chap I am, it's only taken me a few months to get around to reviewing it.

Continue reading "The Design Method by Eric Karjaluoto" »

Workshop: Branding basics for entrepreneurs and small businesses

» Branding, Design, Studio, Work

We know from (ongoing) experience how hard it is trying to brand yourself and your small business. Along the way, though, we've learned a few very useful things that we've also successfully put into practice for clients and ourselves.

As we're often asked about this, we've put together a workshop which looks at some common problems and offers some insights and practical solutions.

Whether you're just starting out, trying to become more established or thinking about going solo in the future, we address some of the major concerns and issues you might face (and things we've faced and continue to face ourselves).

Offered over 4 hours in your office or two, two-hour sessions in our studio just outside Tokyo (see dates below), the workshop covers things like:

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Generic logos and why you should avoid them

» Branding, Design


Designer Giovanni Tondini has created a comprehensive collection of generic and overused logos, together with a handy explanation of why you should avoid them. Those of us who are into branding tend to forget that not everybody else realises how generic, and basically worthless, these things are.

Continue reading "Generic logos and why you should avoid them" »

Getting naked

» Studio, Work

When Stefan Sagmeister launched his design studio, he sent out cards with a picture of himself completely naked. He updated the card when he partnered with Jessica Walsh to form Sagmeister & Walsh.

I've been a fan of Sagmeister's work for a long time, and we've just opened our own studio, so...

Continue reading "Getting naked" » (new studio)

» Studio

Tomorrow we get the keys to our new, in fact our first, studio and we're rather excited. That's what the graphic countdown was all about, in case you wondered.

It's not huge - we don't need a huge space - but neither is it compact and bijou. It's the perfect size, actually, but more importantly it's a space where we can work on a variety of projects, including client work, workshops, classes, designing and making a line of products we've got planned, and lots of other fun stuff.

More very soon!


» Studio



» Studio



» Studio


Hello and thanks for popping in. We're a branding & design studio in Tokyo.

About us and the work we do

Our shop

New workshop: Branding basics for entrepreneurs and small businesses

Insights, advice and solutions to common branding issues. » Register now

Our blog covers stuff we like, such as branding, design, language and more. If you'd like to share something, write to us at:

Hello. storm from the east is about branding, design and communication. We live in Tokyo.

If you're stuck on how to improve what you've already got, you want to start something new, or you're sick of seeing people doing worse work for more money, maybe we can help.

Get in touch:

© storm from the east / Compass Language Studio 2006-1014

What we do

From our workshop we help people understand their business better and make everything run much more smoothly. We help with design, marketing, language and more.
Grab your tools and let's get started

Stuff to read and look at

Concept room

Our other work

We're also the founders of Compass Language Studio focusing on language and education.