KAI FACT magazine
FACT  No.11

Taking a new step
With ‘the KAI logo’

 Koji Endo, who was born in 1955, became the third President of the KAI Group in 1989 when he was 33 years old. Let us take a look at his life story. His father, Saijiro II, who was busy building his business, yet frequently took Koji along for company trips and receptions with his customers. Koji enjoyed being a boy scout in elementary school, and played basketball in junior high school. He studied hard in high school and went to Waseda University, majoring in Political Science and Economics. He could not go to university very often because of ongoing students protest for tuitions fees.
However, he had two meetings by chance during that time. First, he met with the woman he would eventually marry in 1982. He also traveled to California, where he went as an exchange student. The experience was so impressive to him that he decided to study abroad for an additional two years after graduating from university. After returning to Japan, he joined Sanwa Blade in March 1980 and went to Kokuyo in April of the following year. After two years of experience in business management, he returned to the KAI Group, worked in Seki City and was assigned to the Tokyo headquarters in 1987.

Before Koji became company President, Koji undertook a major project: the introduction of Corporate Identity (CI). Koji collaborated with Yasuo Kuroki, who created the SONY logo and helped develop the "Walkman." This story was covered in the previous issue. Here are some more interesting details. One day, there was a complaint letter from a customer saying that he was having trouble finding his favorite Young T Razor at his favorite shop. After sending a Young T Razor to the customer, a thank you letter arrived from him. That customer was Kuroki himself. At that time, Koji was trying to introduce a CI and visited Kuroki. The current ‘KAI logo,’ which combined the letters K, A and I, was developed for about three months based on the original plan by Kuroki.

Koji and the company designer decided to make each letter equal in size. Blue was decided as the corporate color to promote a clean and fresh image. After discussing the deployment method over a year with 50 project team members, the logo was finally revealed in 1988. Employees, customers, supplies and others saw the new logo during ceremonies that celebrated the company’s 80th anniversary. It was a new step toward strengthening the management capabilities of the company by unifying the ‘Shell logo’ of the razors and the ‘kaicut shell logo’ of the household goods.

In the following year, Koji participated in the ’World Design Exposition Nagoya89,’ representing the KAI Group. They invited designers from around the world and chose to make 59 prototypes from 2,516 designs and 30 countries. This exhibition was the first attempt to show the potential of manufacturing beyond cost and efficiency. The new ‘KAI logo’ was introduced to the world and laid the foundation of the present KAI Group.

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