Masa Suzuki is a leading acrobatic athlete, performer, dancer, and teacher in Tokyo. He worked as a professional performer in Japan and the United States before teaching at Gymnastikhøjskolen i Ollerup, a prestigious physical education academy in Denmark. From there he moved to Japan to work as a freelance Parkour & Movement Coach in order to spread what he learned while living in Europe.
Masa asked me to create a logo and brand to help him promote his acrobatic teaching business and freelance performing. After creating a brand that we both loved, I then set up his bilingual (English and Japanese) Wordpress website that he can easily update and edit on his own.
The brand for PKMASA was a fun passion project for me, as I’ve always been interested in urban street culture. As Masa is an extremely talented urban Parkour artist at heart, I looked into other parkour brands to see the types of colors, fonts, and imagery that these brands have. Many used multiple shades of gray and one or two warm accent colors, assumably to represent the edginess but excitement of urban city life. We chose high contrast grays to represent the buildings of Tokyo, and a vibrant yellow color representing Masa’s tangible positivity and energy. The logo is a monkey, modeled after a screenshot of Masa from one of his parkour videos. He is knows as Sun Wukong, or ‘The Monkey King’, amongst peers.
The goal of Masa’s website was to showcase his acrobatic skills, allow people to see when he’s teaching, and get in contact with him for lessons. Masa’s students are both Japanese and non-Japanese, so the site must show both English and Japanese in order to cater to his target markets. He wanted to use the website to not only explain but also teach complicated topics such as parkour, Movement practice, conditioning, and acrobatic dancing. To achieve this, I designed and set up a custom Wordpress website for him so that he could continue to easily create and edit pages on these topics. As of this writing, the website has around 30-40 pages.
Helping Masa solidify his brand image and create a digital hub for his knowledge and offerings was a rewarding experience. I am very happy with the brand. As this was one of the first Wordpress websites I made customizing an existing template and page builder Elementor, working with the builder is challenging. While this allows Masa to create any page layout he’d like on his own, I believe the design suffers. Therefore, I learned how to balance design with “business requirements”. Either way, Masa loves his website.