Kawaii: Gola x Tado

To coincide with the launch of Gola’s Autumn/Winter collection, the brand’s longstanding partnership with British design duo Tado (from Sheffield) is being celebrated with an exhibition of the eye-catching graphic landscapes, specifically created for the Gola x Tado collaboration, at the Boxpark Gallery in Shoreditch, London.

Gola x Tado @ Boxpark

Gola x Tado @ Boxpark

Gola x Tado @ Boxpark

Gola x Tado @ Boxpark

The upstairs gallery area at Boxpark (where all the cafes and restaurants are) has been taken over by bright and vibrant artwork featuring the Gola x Tado characters and you can catch the exhibition until the end of September. The exhibition features designs from the first collection and will showcase some new designs from the SS13 collection too. Here’s one of the Gola x Tado bags which is available from the Gola UK website for £30:

(Image source)

Isn’t it kawaii (cute)? I love this Tokyo design in particular – there’s so much detail!

Everything about these designs and the exhibition is kawaii, as is everything about Tado’s work, which I first came across just over a year ago. Tado, founded in 2001, is made up of a couple called Katie and Mike who use a technique called ‘vector art’ to create these gorgeous designs. I didn’t know anything about vector art, but there’s a really good explanation of it here if you’re curious. I learnt most of what I know about Tado through their blog (We are Tado) and through Vector Net, which has a really good article about them.

So, what’s their connection with Japan? Well, I think it’s probably impossible to design cute graphics and not be aware of Japanese characters and design, and it seems like Japanese ‘kawaii’ has heavily influenced their work. If you search for ‘Japan’ on their blog, lots of posts come up, including ones which show they clearly have an interest in Japan, as well as perhaps some knowledge of Japanese: a tribute to Name-neko Cats, a collaboration with Aki Oishi, and a series of prints called ‘Sugoi’ are just a few topics that I noticed. I’d be curious to know if Tado have spent any time in Japan, and certainly wouldn’t be surprised if they had.

Visit the Tado online shop if you’re interested in seeing what other kawaii goodies they sell, including prints, toys, clothing and accessories.


Whilst I was at the exhibition I picked up a few extra postcards featuring the Tokyo design. If you’d like me to post one to you, all you have to do is be one of the first three UK residents to leave a comment below. After you leave your comment I will send you an email to ask for your postal address (sorry, but this is only open to people with addresses in the UK). I will send the postcard to you as a postcard, so I can’t guarantee that it won’t get marked on the way (or how long it will take to arrive), but it’s still nice to get something cute in the post, isn’t it? (*^_^)v

4 thoughts on “Kawaii: Gola x Tado

  1. kawaii desu ne! or something similar. I was in a Thai restaurant yesterday but definitely heard some Japanese being spoken. I was too shy/polite to interrupt their lunch to dazzle them with my rudimentary skills though.


    • Sugoi! Nihongo jyouzu! (*^_^)v I’ll send you an email about your free postcard. 🙂 I love it when you hear Japanese somewhere and can understand a bit. it’s great fun when you do have the chance to join in. hehe


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s