Ikigai, Japanese beer


Ikigai (生き甲斐) is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being." Iki meaning "life; alive" and kai meaning "effect;result;benefit;". Depending on the region, the concept can have different meanings. Studio Blackthorns focused on the following sentence found on Wikipedia : « bîru ha watashi no ikigai desu "meaning "beer is my lifestyle." Our goal was trying to design a beautiful and modern range illustrating this interesting concept.

Japanese Happoshu with and without alcohol

The challenge

The challenge for this project was to design two different versions of this Happoshu beverage: a low-malt beer version and an alcohol-free one.

This graphic work is part of the challenge that Blackthorns has set itself for 2020: design 366 cans of spirits and non-alcoholic beverages.


Ikigai 500 ml Japanese non-alcoholic beer
Japanese non-alcoholic beer 330 ml
Japanese non-alcoholic beer 500 ml
Japanese non-alcoholic beer 500 ml

Graphic design

There are two different organic shapes on the light and the dark design. On the black can, we can see a circle with nice modern gradient effects. This shape reminds us of the Japanese flag. For the white non-alcoholic drink the circle expanded and reveals a different shape. Different designs have been made on the 500ml and 330ml cans to give more dynamism and character to the range.

Ikigai Happoshu, alcoholic version
Japanese beer 330 ml
Japanese beer 500 ml
Ikigai Range 500 ml

Scope of work

Packaging Design
  • 500ml and 330 ml can design
  • Concept realization for a Japanese Happoshu
  • 3D Rendering

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