Sai Riyō

A self-negotiated university project that started with the design challenge ‘rebrand and repurpose an everyday household object’.

Problem Discovery

Through research I discovered kintsugi, the traditional Japanese practice of repairing ceramics using a mixture of lacquer and gold, creating beautiful golden seams which highlight and celebrate the history and scars of the piece.

I later learned that kintsugi can help people embrace their own perceived ‘imperfections’ by celebrating the beauty of broken things.


‘Sai riyō’ is a self-sustaining non-profit that repairs and repurposes broken ceramics using kintsugi. Through the sales of ceramics, they fund and host mental health and wellness workshops.

Sai riyō embraces imperfection throughout its branding, products and packaging.


The logo is inspired by the seam lines of kintsugi and hand stamped on to each package.


All imagery is handmade by carving linoleum to create stamps.

Handmade stamps are used to create unique and flawed impressions that vary between each product.


The box is 100% recycled Kraft cardboard and the sleeve is 100% recycled cartridge paper.

The logo is stamped on the top side of the sleeve. The product is identified on the front and back of the sleeve with a stamped illustration and Japanese calligraphy; in this case ‘bowl’.

Thank you note

The thank you note is an example of how the visual language of Sai riyō could be applied to a variety of media.

The note thanks the customer for supporting the non-profit’s mission, and gives a brief overview of what Sai riyō does.

Brand book

Each package comes with a Japanese stitch bound book. In this book, the customer will find information about the art of kintsugi, the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi and the mental health and wellness workshops hosted by Sai riyō.

Typeset in Space Mono.
Cover paper: G.F. Smith Nomad Grey Rough 350gsm, made from 100% recycled fibre.
Handbound with waxed white thread.


The product is protected and supported within the packaging by shredded recycled cardboard.

Each piece is hand-crafted by a workshop attendee, which teaches healing through kintsugi.

Workshops are built on the idea that by embracing the flaws and imperfections of a broken ceramic, you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.

Much like cracks in ceramics, a person’s history should be celebrated - it is proof of their strength and who they are today.