Yugo Nakamura

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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 inspiring visuals.

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