Renews: Designing a memberful Japanese journalism startup from scratch

Through mechanisms in the Japanese media landscape, important social topics often remain underexposed. That's where Renews now comes in. This journalism startup from Tokyo aims to be a new centerstage for members and their expert voices.

Platform for experts from all over Japan

The team behind Renews wants to establish an experts-driven platform. The members, referred to as "Renewers", contribute their knowledge and ideas to bring social issues to the forefront. This aims to set a new standard for online news in Japan. The Tokyo-based media company asked Momkai to design the brand and member experience from the ground up.

Collaborating across cultures

The Momkai team is experienced in leading creative sessions over long distance, via video meetings that are clearly structured. This focus was combined with on-site sessions at the Renews office in Shibuya, Tokyo. Presentations were set up bilingual and the design team was accompanied by an interpreter.

Creating a distinct brand identity

To set Renews apart from traditional competitors we opted for a fresh, yet calm identity. The logotype reflects "making waves" in the Japanese journalism space. Illustrator Sho Fujita created a fun visual series filled with vibrant characters.

Playful style for a member platform

Japanese news platforms are often accompanied with a high density of information per screen. In order to break away from this tradition and create more focus on the stories being told, we opted for a clean layout. During the design trajectory the interface design was reviewed by Tokyo-based development partners Asahi Interactive and Creem.