It's quite likely many of his fellow jurors in last year's Cyber Lions group at
Cannes were surprised when they met Yugo Nakamura. The renowned web
design guru, known alternately as Yugo P, is a quiet, unassuming man whose
countenance and bearing belie the radical interfaces he's been creating on the
internet since he joined a web development firm as an art director in 2000.
Trained in engineering and architecture, Nakamura brings the strongly rational
elements of these disciplines to his work: complexities resolve themselves
into simpler interfaces, single elements do multiple things. In 2004 Nakamura
founded Tha Ltd., and since then the company's been making definitive sites
for clients like Uniqlo, which owes most, if not all, of its respect among digital
creatives to Nakamura-guided projects. In 2007, Tha crafted an identity for
UT, a Uniqlo T-shirt brand, developing a site as well as an in-store display and
interface. Tha also created a stunning site for Japanese telecom company KDDI
in Eye Project, a breathtaking mosaic composed of thousands of video clips.
Users could record their own videos, which were analyzed and became part of
the overall mosaic. The company also released Kaze To Desktop (literally, "wind
and desktop"), a screensaver that determines the wind speed in your area and,
when activated, moves all the elements on your computer—folders, icons, program
windows–across the monitor in a whirlwind that reflects your local conditions.
Another notable in-house project was FFFFOUND!, an image bookmarking
service that allows you to save images, tag other people's images as
favorites and have the system suggest images you may like. The site, while still
in beta, has proved immensely popular among graphic designers looking for