Applaud with full satisfaction


“Applaud with full satisfaction” is a publication about Japanese bicycle brand names and their taglines, seen during my trip to Japan in 2018. The title comes from one of the first bikes that I saw, its name drawing my attention. It made me look closer and have a good laugh after reading the tagline as well. And of course, it made me start checking all bikes along the way. By the end of my holiday, I had taken over 100 photos of bike names and taglines.

Many are hilarious examples of Engrish, while some are surprising uses of city and food names (English, French, sometimes Spanish or Italian). Some make sense, some don’t. Nevertheless, they all share a similar playfulness with language, and they were always a joy to discover.

Each spread presents one bike, with its name and tagline in bold hand-lettering, putting the emphasis on the words. A small photo shows the actual bike while a caption mentions the area the bike was seen in. I chose to do the lettering by brush, as a nod to Japanese calligraphy, and also thinking of handwritten signs that you can often see in local markets (breaking the rules in charming ways as well).

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