Help Japan

March 12, 2011 - By 

See the full post and more ways you can help at

Posted In:  News
  • I’ve just pre-ordered my shirt!!

    Watashi-tachi no kangae wa anata to iru.

  • wtf. Sorry. But this sucks. “All profits made by the sale of this poster will be donated to help relief efforts in Japan.” …sure. But its just an awfull way to sell some shirts… or promote some site.. or whatever.

    To reduce THIS earthquake to a logo is tasteless. Big Organisation needs logo (First Aid, etc) but selling t-shirts/poster and reducing an earthquake to a brand. It feels very wrong.

    • Sorry Dr. Strangelove, but i dont think the same way, anything you can do…please do it.

    • Strangelove, please re-read the sentence “All profits made by the sale of this poster will be donated to help relief efforts in Japan.” You might find it completely contradicts your comment.

    • Nope. In Germany there you can buy beer (Krombacher) to save the rainforest. And Mercedes Benz is Sponsor for “Green Concerts”. A Commercial / Logo itself is “Marketing”. I don’t think its art. I remember those horrible 11 September “Art Works”. If you print it on a t-shirt and sell them… cmon.

      You use “consum instincts” to help people ?!
      Instead of “just helping” small firms and big firms try to sell something. Even if they spend all the money for helping people… its not okay.

      Are people stupid to realise whats happening. Buying a tshirt to help those people is a joke. imho. Maybe it works for NTV Brainwashed people that also need cheesy “enia” Music and slow motion of a real desaster.

      (sorry for my bad english… its not my native native language)

      I don’t like that combination. Thats all.

    • #1. I’m an independent artist who works from home, not a big company. Everything I do is grassroots with zero marketing budget and zero investors.

      #2. Making posters is what I love doing, and it’s what I do best.

      #3. I’m spending money to do this campaign. NOT making money.

      In short, I’m using what I have available on my own time, in order to do my part and help.

    • Thank you James. Theres no time for semantics, Strangelove, I `m witness of the wonderful things by Japanese organizations do it for worldwide benefits, including in my country. That “stupid” people how you say, it`s more smarter than you. Do your part or not interfere. Onegay shimasu

      • Exactly. This whole “You’re not helping the right way” attitude seems like a waste of time really. Help or don’t. But don’t get in the way of somebody trying.

    • I think we talk at cross-purposes. Its not about design or money. There is a desaster. If you want ‘convert’ it.. (in an art piece or whatever) fine. But a “stylish Logo”? or a tshirt print. And ship those things all over the world. We are living in world full of logos, brandings, artsy fartsy style things. I don’t want a minimal stylish version of a disaster. A Poster Version… to pin it on my wall. or what? Take a step out of your (our all) design world. We don’t need a cool design for a disaster. A poster, a t-shirt. Its absurd.

      Its okay to ‘work’ with all these things we see in television. To ‘play’ with those images… but ‘designing a poster’ is tasteless. thats my opinion. This is my last post. I’m out.

      • If you want to help, find out how you can and help. Some people are using their money to help. Some people are using their time to help. Some people are using their muscles to help. Some people are using their art to help. How can you help?

    • Couldn’t be more in agreement with Dr. Strangelove.
      And no Nick this is not using art to help.
      This is “let me be in my comfort zone and deal with remorse by doing nothing by selling some shirts with a design which toke 10 minutes to produce.
      Go there and Help ! Don’t “art” about it.

      • I feel like an angry child saying this and will probably regret it tomorrow, but…
        How does your comment “help” Karpathia? What have you done to help raise $6000 dollars (and growing) for this cause you feel so passionate about?

    • I am absolutely disgusted by the comments of Dr.Strangelove and the comment of Karpathia.

      I find their posts deeply frightening, disrespectful, and wrong. When someone uses their strengths and talents to try and help those less fortunate, you shouldn’t knock them for that.

      They are not creating a logo for a disaster, they are simply using their strengths of design and art to raise money to help those in need. I commend them for their efforts and hope others follow on their path.

      Such an idea and fund raiser will raise thousands of dollars and do a small part in rebuilding a country devastated by a horrific disaster. There is absolutely nothing wrong with what they are doing in any way shape or form.

      I hope in your way of helping you are going to be donating thousands of dollars yourself, or donating thousands of hours of help in Japan. However I am going to guess neither one of those are going to happen.

      If you do not agree with what they are doing because of commercialism or for whatever reason then that is fine and it is your choice to do so, but for the respect of Nick and his website, those who are spending hours making these shirts and most importantly for the millions devastated but this tragedy, please keep your thoughts to yourself.

    • Dr. Strangelove, your arguments make no sense to me. Do you agree with using design for commercial uses but not for helping people?
      Do you thing is more inmoral using your skills (whatever they are)for making money for this cause?
      It doesn’t matter what you do. Here in Spain there is a campaign based on fake pills called ‘pills for other’s pain’you purchase them in the drugstore and the money goes to this cause. It doesn’t matter what you do with the pills, is just an excuse to ask people for help. Just like the logo (a good one, by the way).
      What’s your idea for helping?

    • I think Dr.SL is just bent out of shape on consumerism in general. I agree that over-consumption is a big problem in our world today but does not apply in this case.

      Dr.SL, think of it like this; when you give blood to the Red Cross, they give you a cookie and a sticker. The cookie is to bring your blood-sugar back to normal, the sticker is a signal to you and others that you contributed, making you feel good, creating awareness and possibly sparking someone else to contribute.

      That’s all. Move along, move along.

    • I can’t believe people people are so brazenly taking this guy down! He’s just trying to a good thing through what he knows – the guys raised over $6000 doing it too.
      If he gets publicity through it, so be it (and I’m pretty sure that is not his motive) – it’ll be good publicity through doing a good thing.
      It’s better than the publicity obtained through dragging someone’s effort to help through the mud.
      It’s a horrible disaster, we can’t all go over there and physically help out. We can’t all donate a shedload of money. But we can all use what we HAVE got to help.
      Time, talent and finance can all be valuable contributions. Don’t hurt someone’s effort to help because you have an opinion – that helps nobody!

    • True altruism does not advertise its actions.
      This is a business.
      If that t-shirt got so famous would he not include it in his cv??

    • Another thing I forgot – Nick why should you regret saying what you think?
      If consider every opinion and point of view here. Disagreeing is not bad and I never consider your website as one of those photo shares where everyone only has good things to say about everything like in wonderland.
      For me this action has less value than for you, so you contribute and I don’t in that way at least. If I do anything that I did not so far, I probably won’t tell many people about it. It’s just a way of being in life.

    • Hey Strangelove, here’s an other selfish artist exploiting this disaster just to promote their talent and benefit from exposure. Send her your rhetoric would ya. Maybe buy a picture.

    • Dr S. I imagine all those are affected are grateful for any help received be it through a guy who sold posters (for no profit) or a great big concert like Live Aid. Without either of those there would be a lot less money going to support those in need. Would that be a better world? As a result of this campaign, James has been able to donate thousands to those who need it, how can you see anything wrong with that?!

    • I am living in Japan. I just wanted to say thanks to James for doing this. We appreciate your help, and that of everyone else who has donated or helped us out in anyway.
      Getting people to take notice and act is what it is all about.

      Thanks again.

  • In my opinion every fucking nuclear power station should be closed down right now!!!

  • Urks.

    Dr.Strangelove is absolutely right. Sorry.

  • Dr.Strangelove is right, its a desaster how big Firms capitalize this catastrophs. most its just marketing shit. but dude, james dont look like a big fish manager and I like the Poster! to wear a “help Japan” t-shirt is not tasteless, it shows solidarity. my opinon

    • Good point. Some people could take advantage, sure. But the new economy is about trust. I wouldn’t have put this image up if I didn’t trust that James’ intent was pure and that they money would go where he said it would.

    • I´m on your side Nick. I think James means well. I didnt thought to help (what can cause a single person)until I saw the poster. I started to think abouted it. that is the purpose of the poster.

    • Exactly right Mario on 2 counts.
      1 – Dr. Srangelove has made a valid point about creating company exposure through disaster relief activities. James is not an global Corporate Company and so the comparisons of processes are redundant, in my opinion.

      2 – I don’t agree with Dr Strangelove that the poster is converting/reducing this disaster into a simple emblem! If anything it is creating a fitting memorial to the disaster! Just like memorials elsewhere round the world and throughout history. A memorial that you can live with!

    • Big Firms, capitalize the catastrophe…
      Well, CNN and many others live from catastrophes and other kinds of breaking news. So what !?

      Being thousand of miles away from Japan, selling the poster or t-shirt and sending the money over there is much more than the biggest part of humanity is doing right now.
      Getting some credits for that is the minimum.

      I like the poster and happy to see it’s sold out.

  • Unfortunately these things are well intentioned. But, “all profits” means that anything past the cost to recover expenses goes to the cause. Directly giving to the Red Cross or other hands on relief organizations will ensure that more of your money gets used in a better way. Yes, these organizations also have expenses and some of your donation goes to overhead. But, they are really good at what they do and are experienced at doing it very efficiently.

    I understand the sentiment to want to help. This manifests itself in many ways. I think that any exposure or reminder to help is good. I personally wouldn’t want a stark reminder of the tragedy on my wall. I was working in Manhattan on 9/11 and I don’t have a tee-shirt or poster reminding me of that.

    Anyway, I gave some to the Red Cross. I recommened it. If you want to support by buying a tee-shirt or the poster then go for it.

    • Not neccesarily does giving to the Red Cross or I Care mean it will all go to the cause… The Red Cross has been under Great Scrutiny(google Red Cross Criticism) in the past disasters for not giving all the raised millions or however much to 911, Katrina & Haiti and instead splitting it all up or putting a lot of it to red tape stuff or actually saying they were saving it for another disaster at least that is what a lot of alternative (not CNN) news sites say I would rather give money to a person like this that really cares and wants to help without an alterior motive just a regular small group not a huge corporation with too many things they need to do with the money…h

  • I don’t see anything wrong with a person or group of people using their talents to do something to help. do you really think these people are saying “hmmm good thing this happened – We can donate, look good, and then move some merch and swag and even get some repeat web traffic!” I really doubt it. In fact, when I saw that logo – I found it to be really kind of touching. I don’t think this is a capitalist opportunity – I think it’s people trying to use what they do best to help others. I would hope we’d at least give them the benefit of the doubt before casting aspersions.

  • This logo gives a great msg, so everyone should make this as avatar etc and donate some mony to japan help organizations, thats all, use or wear whatever you like or have for show others that there is need for your help.

  • What About Libya ???

  • It’s not about money, or marketing. Its about ‘thinking’. In our culture more and more things are connected with “consume things”. Buy this thing and feel better, because you help the rainforest, the third world, etc.

    It seems that ‘people’ are not helping anymore if they don’t get a nice present. Its ridiculous. with ‘those products” you change a ‘bad conscience’ into a ‘clear conscience’.

    But there is no need for a Poster. There is so much more going on. Earthquake, Tsunami, explosion at a nuclear power plant, etc…
    Watching those things on television, and buying (consume consume consume) a poster. Don’t reduce big culture things into a product. Even if it helps people…. its just wrong.

    • Some people give blood for the cause. Some do it for the free cookie. Of course, the best thing to do is give money. Lots of it. But first you got to make it. For James, he is turning art into money and giving. Bill gates turned computers into money and is giving. The salvation army turns Santa, bells and Buckets into money and is giving. How can you give?

  • I think the bottom line is – give money *directly* to the agencies on the frontline. This way as much of your money goes to where it is needed.

    Again, I understand the sentiment but I think it’s misguided.

  • I have to agree with strangelove to be honest, although I’m sure James is doing this to help, it just looks like a really opportunist thing to do to gain recognition, I mean do you really want peopke to be thinking wow what a cool poster or t-shirt instead of thinking about the catastrophe that has occured over there. Like I said I’m sure you mean well James but it can be interpreted otherwise.

    • Art and help is about intention. I know James and I wouldn’t put this poster on my site if I didn’t KNOW that his intentions are pure. I love that people are skeptical.

      Skeptics are my favorite type of people, really. But, if you don’t trust, then find your way to help and take action.

  • Is this site trusted to give the money to japan ? i was going to donate to red cross tell i saw this. this is a great looking poster and i would love to buy but im afraid its one of those scamming sites

  • I’ve just pre ordered mine, I couldn’t care less if I never get the poster as long as my money goes to the cause. I think this is a good initiative and a very creative one.
    Maby I’m naive but I don’t think the intent is to make money in this case…
    I will donate for this cause in other ways too by the way.

  • This poster shows that design actually can influence what happens in our world. thumbs up! Actually the shipping cost to germany is hindering me from buying one right off, but im working on getting a group order 😀

    • $6000+ of money was generated for help to Japan that didn’t exist before James created this poster. I don’t understand how that’s anything but a noble and humble act.

      Cynicism is easy when it’s generated from a comfortable chair behind a keyboard. If you don’t like the shirt or the method of raising money, follow Nick’s advice and just donate an equivalent amount to a service you trust.

      At a time of such danger and fear and outright need, it’s time for communities to band together. This could be any of us.

    • I think you misread my comment completley. But Im not here to argue so have a nice day.

  • I was talking to a friend in Japan about this , I agree on both sides of the coin. At least he’s doing something. I really think it would have been much more powerful without the text and font selection though .. But hey he’s doing something. What are we doing? commenting on a blog.

  • Interesting arguments. I’m someone who just would donate I don’t want a poster or shirt. But some people need that extra push to give and if get’s more people to donate then good.

  • Totally agree with Strangelove. If the guy really wanted to help then he’d just have made a link to the donation page. Why waste resources on this?

    I feel he’s gaining more from the exposure off this poster than the self satisfaction and publicity of helping out Japan. I’m not saying he’s not going to donate the money or anything like that. It’s just a slightly wrong way of trying to help.

    • Seriously? Think you and the rest of the “Help Japan”-haters have not understood about charity, solidarity or helping others. If u really want to impress us, go start a project to help others. But don’t criticise others doing their own. How would u like if your country had an earthquake and people started slashing these selfless people trying to organise funds? Would you refuse their money? I think not!

  • After reading this lengthy and slightly ridiculous banter about whats right or not, I think it is seriously childish for Dr. Strangelove to even think to ridicule the help that is being provided by this poster, and designer.
    No we do not live in some perfect utopian society, where everyone will donate the second a major disaster. The majority of people unfortunately won’t take a second from anything they are doing to even think about it.

    So for a designer to use his skill and time, to create the incentive for others to help is completely admirable. You (Dr. Strangelove and others) should spend time creating a better solution if you think this one isn’t good enough, rather than wasting time trying to cause an argument.

    Cheers to James and Nick on helping out.

  • Personally I’m disgusted at the negative feedback towards the poster. James is merely using the skills he has in a constructive way to raise awareness and in a short amount of time an impressive amount of money.

    It seems that the fact that his illustration is a very well thought out image is being held against him which to me seems ridiculous. If musicians are allowed to use their skills to the best of their abilities to raise funds then why can’t an illustrator?

  • I come from a large family of Naval Pilots, EMT’s, and Firemen, and I am the artist amidst all of their courage and bravery. But those people need support too, and sometimes it’s as simple as stumbling across a “cool” image commemorating their efforts, or in support of them.
    I think the image looks great, and I’m glad you all are helping.

  • I understand the sentiments of some of the naysayers, but when you actually go to the site, he gives you ALL the links to the Red Cross websites so you can donate directly.

    I feel that sometimes people just want to vent about how they’ve feel for a while. They don’t make an educated comment based on everything.

    If you don’t want to buy a t-shirt, go to the links he provided. Sheesh!

  • I see the purpose here and I love this. Everyone has been talking about giving an extra push to people. And I say to that absolutely! But it’s also a killer way to promote helping Japan and who knows what else man!

  • Great art has power. A single image can drive home an issue so powerfully it forces people to take action. This image screams to me that a great, proud nation is in trouble and needs help, even without the tagline.

    • Echem… Good point. Shepard fairey’s HOPE poster help elect a president. I personally think it’s a fantastic way to raise awareness. Look at the conversation that has sprung just on this site from it. Everyone here is now avidly thinking not only about the disaster but ways they can help. To the previous commenters that have spoken negatively about this… You must agree that whether you like it or not this poster/image has made you think deeply about the cause.

  • I hate the fact that just because people feel as though they

  • It seems to me this is about an issue of purity. Although not a Jew myself, I know Jewish tradition holds that a persons motivation for doing something is not important, only the results they produce. For example, if you name a hospital after yourself, it doesn’t matter, only that your contribution helped save lives.
    For people questioning the purity of the motivation of this poster, ask yourself if you were in Japan would it matter to you that someone was there giving you food that was paid for by some guy in the US selling posters to pay for it. My contention is that you wouldn’t care how the food was paid for, just that you would get to eat

  • I have worked with both James and Hydro74 on different projects that have raised over $70,000 for The Salvation Army’s disaster work in Haiti, Japan, Pakistan.

    To say that creating a symbol or a logo is childish and not helping is absurd. True it would be great if everybody just opened their hearts and wallets and gave, but we have to create that culture.

    I work with young people all over the globe and for them to spend $20 on a Salvation Army T-shirt gives them a sense of pride and an opportunity to share with others about the cause and how others can help.

    The design community has been very generous to The Salvation Army and the work they do.The young people I work with think it’s amazing that people use their gifts to help others in need and I truly believe it will inspire them to follow suit.

    Thanks James for all you’ve done and all your doing.Many applaud and and admire your efforts, don’t let the negativity ever get the best of you.

    It’s a lot easier to critique than to create.

    I’m out.

  • encouraging people to give money to help a cause by creating art is a very valid way to help.

    1) They list websites of places where you can directly donate.

    2) wearing or displaying the art/shirt etc. is a valid reminder to others that they can do something. It’s a conversation piece and a reminder.

    3)There is no branding or self promotion in the design/s ..

    4)It gets people to donate who wouldn’t otherwise

    I agree companies like Bing (Microsoft) who initially tried to spread their brand on twitter in the name of donating are in the wrong for exploiting a tragedy.

    If your looking for someone to be angry with and yell at go on facebook and look at all of the Americans posting about Pearl Harbor. Now that is disgusting and repulsive.

    If you feel so strongly about it.. all you need to post is this…

    Giving directly to a reputable charity without receiving anything in return is the best option, and tell everyone you see and that see’s you do do the same.

  • One thing I know is that a fraction of my 30$ is going to help a hell of a lot more than your prayers.

    Some guy took the time to create something about a cause he felt strongly about. He will individually pack these posters one by one and send them all over the globe…for no profit. Sounds pretty outstanding to me.

    Great design James. Many people will be grateful for your help.

    – Nic

  • Sorry, but gotta agree with James and strangelove here. Yes i understand that using art to help motive or give people incentive is part of what makes it so great but dude… come on you have taken a complete tragedy and trivialized it buy turning it into a brand. Do you think the families that lost love ones appreciate us walking around with stylized “designed” T-shirts that say help Japan out? Yes the money is going to

  • them but its done in the wrong way, why would’nt you just donate money we don’t need consumer products to make us feel like we have helped out.

    • Yeah you’re so right! I’m shure if the people in Japan that are eating food that has been paid with the extra 6000$ from James..would actually know how the money was collected, they would sooo spit it out!

    • So just donate then. The link obviously worked in getting a lot of people to his site (just look at this comment list) and if you want to, you can just donate directly using the links provided on his site.

      How many people have you directed to a donation page? Whether he sells the posters or not, he is drawing people very successfully to a place where people can donate money to the cause.

      p.s. I am very curious to know what is the right way as you so strongly put this down as the ‘wrong way’ to help people.

  • First of all…

    James: Loved the design, excelente piece of work, simple yet so powerfull.

    Everyone else: Stop complaining and do something… it’s totally absurd and a complete waste of time trying to critizice and/or compare James’ work to the work done by big companies. He is doing what he does best and he is encouraging everyone who follows him to help.

    Besides… I have a feeling Dr.Strangelove is not a Doctor and that he follows Nick’s tutorials so he can make more money for himself 😉


  • Whoa! So much hate! If you don’t like the idea of the poster, then go donate another way!

    It’s a simple economic idea. Post a link, MAYBE a few people donate. Or, take your talents, take on a little bit of overhead, and raise over $6,000.

    And as for commemorating a disaster, how about seeing it as commemorating how countries across the world came together to help those in need?

    The glass is half full! 🙂

  • I can’t help but see this poster as a way to boost traffic to The Gorilla’s site… don’t get me wrong, I love the look of the poster, I LOVE this site… but it did seem a little tasteless and contrived.

    Had someone in Japan, who is actually TRULY being effected by this disaster, made the logo and the call to action, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

    It seems that people think they are helping if they tweet or facebook about something and this is (in my opinion) an extension of that.

    But I guess there is no such thing as bad publicity. And if it helps get some running water to someone who needs it… Great!

    I think we all have good intentions and just don’t know where to put our energy. Especially with a tragedy of this magnitude.

    • I think you guys are ridiculous. You do realize that he is donating the profits right!? Who gives a fuck about where the traffic to it is coming from.

      I’ve been following Nick and James for a long time and never have I thought they have bad intentions. There are actually good people in this world. How can this hurt?

      You guys are trying to blame James for something that he’s trying to do to help. You’re right, he should have just done nothing. That’s probably the best course of action.

      I’m going to be honest and say that I wouldn’t have donated to this effort because it’s not something I generally do. But once I saw James’ poster it gave me a sense of pride and I felt compelled to buy his poster for the effort.

      There’s $30 Japan wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

      Get over yourself.

  • The people taking some kind of weird stance AGAINST this poster are completely missing the point.

    If James was making a profit from this poster, then you could take some issue with him, but as it stands, he is just using the poster to help the cause.

    Arguing that this commoditises the issue is garbage as well. Every sale is going to the cause and contributing to the awareness of the issue. Unless you are physically going over to Japan to help out, buying this poster is measurably better than what you’re already doing.

  • Selling a poster at this point, even when the profit is used for good, come on. What kind of crap is this. Great way to get people on the website. I would have been suffiencient to make the ad and post some adresses, where you can donate your money. Sorry to say that.
    Buying, printing, shipping?? Go to a bank and spend your money there and that’s it.

  • I don’t get the poster thing and see it as mainly publicity and marketing for James, note the logo and text bottom right of the poster. Why couldn’t James give away a raffle to win him to design a poster for the winner instead of spending his time shipping?

    James mention how he was getting top search results for Google help Japan and although he links to donation sites this shouldn’t be the first site you hit to help Japan or something to boast about.

    However if this gets people to donate who wouldn’t of done so otherwise then that’s good just a shame it wasnt done better.

    • I have a great idea for a charity website.

      It involves you giving away a raffle to win the chance for you to design a poster for the winner.

      Let me know if you think this is a good idea, I think it is a really good idea.

  • Not agreeing, or taking a stance for that matter. Just something on point to digest:

    yep, this applies to corporations not individuals, I know, simply food for thought – zizek is nothing if not controversial and thus a bit entertaining.

  • At the end of the day, whether you donate directly or buy a t-shirt it is for a good cause. It is still helping. Alot of people probably wouldn’t donate without an imcentive, which is sad but true.

  • I hate the fact that just because people feel as though they give money to some organization like Red Cross, they trust that they will do the “right thing” with the money.

    I’m a victim of Katrina and the Road Home organization that CLAIMED they’d help the people of New Orleans get back in their homes still hasn’t and it’s been well over 5 years since. Even some of the Red Cross stations that were set up along the southeast region to help out Katrina victims were actually schamming the victims and keeping some of their recovery money. And I don’t blame Red Cross for it, I blame the individuals that were involved in it.

    All I’m saying is that the people that actually are tryning to make a difference, allow them that. Don’t bash them because you don’t agree with the way they’re going about it. The end result is what counts in the matter.

    I support James White, Joshua Smith and Nick Campbell for making aware of the situation and going about helping out in the way they know best.

  • It’s a great effort from people to care and donate money for Japan, but I find it a bit “hipsterish” – it’s great to help people that are in pain and stuff. But why doesn’t anyone actually help the local bums that are currently seeking for food in the garbage to survive? I don’t mean the alcoholics, but the real people that weren’t lucky enough. I haven’t seen a single poster in my life that would generate some donations to help homeless people, in what way are they different from those in Japan?

    I donated a small amount of money for the reliefs, but I don’t need a Tshirt to show anyone that I’m “pro-Japan-helper”. What is the deal with us today? We run out to donate people in stress that are tens of thousands miles away from us, to protest against repressions in countries we will never visit, to fight for the rights of people we will never meet and do that with an appropriate “solidarity” TShirt, BUT WHY do we absolutely don’t give a f**k about people in stress and problems that live couple of blocks away from us? Shouldn’t we start with our neighbourhood, our own societies, actually do something to improve lives of people we meet on daily basis and THEN help people and countries elsewhere? if we would that, maybe life would improve more greatly.

    This is no way a negative/offensive comment like the one Dickhead Strangelove posted earlier on, but just my opinion. It is cool thing to help people far away, but remember that there are hundreds of thousands (even millions) that need our help down the street 🙂

  • Hontouni arigatou gozaimasu,dekireba boku no mixi ni nosete ii desuka
    Thanks a lot, can I post this in my mixi acount (mixi is a japanese social networking site )

  • Stop complaining people and start helping! James did his part…. what can you do to help?

  • Anybody that knows James or tunes into his broadcasts would know that he’s one of the nicest guys out there, and has done great work in helping out Japan in the way he knows best.

  • All support for Japan is greatly appreciated, and to be honest I’d rather give my donations to a small initiative like this, rather than to some sort of giant where most of the donations will go directly into the CEO’s fancy office furniture. If you don’t want the shirt, put it in a bag and send it off to countries where they could use the clothing. Next to that I believe it’s only encouraging to see individuals trying to raise awareness for causes like this, seems like humanity isn’t completely lost.

    Some people’s comments remind me of the idiots stating the quake and tsunami were a “pay back for Pearl Harbour”. I mean, really??

    p.s. I still enjoy the Designed For Help book, and that book helped a lot of people in the 2004 tsunami.

  • bad poster, it was something that I doubt the U.S. have created a poster as well.
    Stupid Americans. ¬ ¬

  • Poster is great, but font selection is mediocre. Great way to get publicity and cycle traffic through his website and here, but you know what am i doing to help? reading this blog i guess.

  • This is awesome! Doing what you are best at to help a great cause!

  • To me, this is the very example of how a graphic designer embraces his responsibility on society.

    This is not a company trying to make money with the excuse of an honorable cause, at most, that designer is gonna have more recognition, but its well deserved.

    To me, this is a sad masterpiece

  • Looks like self-promotion to me: His latest twitter post: ‘Help Japan’ poster lands on the NY Daily News. #helpjapan

    • Dude, if it is self promotion, then it is the best form of it I have ever seen. This guy is making no profit and donating all money to charity. Last thing I did was send out an animated Christmas card which helped no-one. How can you rip on him?! How many thousands have you been able to donate to any cause ever?

  • I personally am not against the idea of using design and art to get the message out but the first thing I thought when I saw the signal noise poster was “oh shocking a designer immediately uses this to create a piece to garner attention” lets face it it seems these days when anything goes down in the world someone just HAS to make a piece about it. It’s the same with info graphics and data visualization and if you think it isn’t about garnering attention and having your ego stroke you are very naive.

  • I totally disagree with Dr. Strangelove. Queen sells t-shirts with logos to fight A.I.Ds, .. Is that tasteless? Questioning his motives without evidence of fraud is wrong. It is cynical and hateful.

  • A video about rapid superficial meetings

  • Today a big German News Channel edit some japan desaster footage together to a ‘video clip’. With the Song ‘teardrops’ by Massive Attack. They ‘stylize’ the desaster. And ‘big german newspaper’ complain about that.

    And with the poster its the same. Even if you are a designer. and even if the design is good. And even if you get lots of money to help japan… its fu**** wrong to stylise a tragedy.

    Hollywood did that for years. They glorify violence and death. For example “Michael Bay” Transformers.. or whatever. Bu ‘real violance’ is not funny. Michael Haneke made the movie “Funny Games”… as answer for all those absurd action movies.

    So whats the point? A stylish logo is allways kitsch and profound. You can say: well… logos are not only for big companies… also for disasters. But cmon. Disasters like that need no fancy stylish logos. Its ridiculous.

    Its like a hollywood movie. 2012 by Roland Emerich. Look at THIS… people are dying. We transform it into some stylish artwork. *no good idea* (even if you get a lot of money to help people. And even if the design is kinda good)

    • Dear Bobotric,

      The stylisation of the event is irrelevant. It is an attempt to get people on board and donate money to a good cause. In this example the design community were instantly drawn in by a nice logo. I bought a poster but probably won’t ever hang it, that’s wasn’t the reason I bought it, it was however the reason I was taken to the site and chose to send my charitable donation in that direction.

      Big charities (such as Oxfam and Barnados etc.) spend hundreds of thousands on advertising campaigns to get people to part with money and to help those in need. It is a difficult thing to do. People look at the news and read the papers and go “oh god that’s awful”, but the percentage that actually donate is tiny.

      This guy ran a very successful ad campaign from his own home with his own artistic talent which captured the attention of many people and was able to donate thousands without having to dip into the contributions to pay some ad agency for the privilege.

      So what if it is stylish, if it wasn’t there would be less money to help the situation. Would you prefer that?

      I can’t believe anyone on this blog is able to sit back and criticise this campaign, and even more in shock that you can say that it is bad to “get a lot of money to help people”.

      Enjoy watching the footage as it appears on the news networks, happy in the knowledge that you are doing nothing to help those poor people because you have morals against being suckered into a nice logo and successful advertising. (p.s. how many apple products do you have).


    • “stylization” as you put it can also be viewed as metaphoric. The films you mentioned are terrible so nobody cares.
      Apocalypse Now is an incredibly metaphoric recount of Vietnam, and it got me interested as a kid. After studying in college it helped me communicate with my father better knowing what went on in his war.
      The Battle for Algiers is a completely fictional retelling of the tragic rebellion, yet it is very informative, and inspires one to learn more.

  • It’s great that everyone wants to help, but what makes you think that Japan wants your help? They haven’t asked. They are perfectly capable of helping themselves, both physically and financially. If you really want to help someone, then feed a starving person in your own neighborhood or send a cheque to New Orleans. You all forgot about those poor people pretty quickly. Maybe another poster is in order.
    This whole thing is more about being politically correct than actually doing any useful good. And, of course, YOU will feel much better after dropping some cash on a broken Japan poster. Don’t know if the Japanese will, though.

    • I’m pretty sure they are going to be grateful for any help they can ge… oh no wait a minute, they just showed a clip on the news of someone refusing a donation of food and clean water for their kids! My god you’re so right. Best carry on with my day then. Hey family guy’s on, awesome!


    • Spoken like a true American…arrogant and ignorant. And you wonder why the rest of the world hates you.
      I think I’ll donate some money to mental health care so this poor loser can get some help.

    • Sorry, English, and apologies if my comment offended, I’m just not the biggest fan of anyone discouraging anyone else from being charitable, no matter what the cause.

      Also you should donate to mental health care, it is a very serious issue that gets hardly any media attention.

      Anyone wanting to help can donate to Mind can do so here…

  • I think the poster turned out beautiful and it felt great to help (despite expensive shipping costs to Europe).
    I had to remove the link from facebook though, because people were complaining AVG was detecting spyware on the site… Anyone with the same problem?

    Thx 🙂

  • If you’re so cynical as to believe that a mere graphic can’t affect positive action, please do us all a favor and remove yourselves from this industry. Right now.

    The history of graphic design is rich with powerful examples of art that both sought to and DID effect positive action. That you can be so crass and small-minded to believe that graphics only exist to serve commercial interests is extremely telling of both your talent and your worth to the industry, so you have no valid business being here.

    But in case you didn’t get this already, let me clear it up for you:


    There is a difference.

    And if you can’t see that, please stop wasting our time, crack open a design history book, and learn a thing or two about the trade before you start pontificating.

    I, for one, would be proud to display this poster. And yes, I’ve already donated a good portion of my last paycheck to the Red Cross.

    Simply unbelievable.

  • No matter what you call it. Graphic, Logo, … its the japanese flag with a crack. And a Poster. you are “proud” to display this poster??? arggg. Thats exactly the point Dr.Strangelove was talking about. People can buy a THING, they consume something… connected with “helping”. And thats a big problem, imho. its a bit of brainwashing. Big firms do this all the time. With greenwashing their products. You don’t have to think about the “whole story” … just buy/consume the right product… and everything is fine. You brain will feel happy. And your brain will tells you. “hej, look at me and this cool poster… and you know what. I’m proud of it. I helped a lot of people”. grrrrrrr
    Some people have to learn the different between art and design. Not between graphic and logo. An artwork stands for itself. And this stupid poster ist just a catalyzer for the ‘real desaster’… to make you feel better.

  • I’d love to see how raising 10K$ will oh so help Japan, considering the vast amount of damage and the incredible number of population (they’re more than you americans for that matter). Maybe the money will end up repairing a fence or two..

    This is totally tasteless.

    It’s a nice poster, but the whole helping argument is total bs.

    And Nick, you said “the new economy is about trust”… Where do you live exactly? on Mars? C’mon guys, try harder, if you look outside of your happy backyard you’ll find all but pretty things. And you know it deep down so keep the web-naivety at bay..

    Besides, a poster isn’t going to change anything but the popularity of the artist. He’s being really clever in that aspect. So kudos for the marketing strategy!

    But it remains a totally tasteless act.
    And all the praisers should really think a bit deeper before posting.. Unless being hip is all there is in life.

    • Are you serious??!! “How is raising 10k$ helping Japan??” Let me ask you this: How much money did you help raise? What are you doing to help, Max? The people of Japan need help and money is gonna provide that help… and that’s not just to to ‘repair a fence or two’ as you tastelessly describe it, it is mostly for rescue, food, water etc….

      And what the hell does ‘being hip’ have to do with anything? All I know is, it’s definitely not ‘hip’ complaining about everything… if you don’t agree with the method, come up with a better plan yourself and try raising 10k$ in your own way! And if you get that far, let us know about it and we will all promise to keep it a secret, because we wouldn’t want to ‘promote’ or congratulate you too much, because we all know that you wouldn’t like other people to know about your hard work.

    • @Fabian: If the news and pictures of a total devastation and if the brink of a nuclear fallout doesn’t make you aware enough then possibly this poster does??? OK, then I have to re-think some ground rules concerning humanity indeed.
      But what ever. No offense. Do your job, print posters and make a campaign if you like and if that helps. Everybody can do what he wants. Some think, me included, that this is not quite the fashion way to do it – as stated obove – and one can always say his opinion aloud. Me, I will go and donate money instead without buying a poster…

    • @MichiSchwarz: To me the news, pictures and videos is more than enough to know that this is a major disaster and I donated money because I think they can really use it (not to make me feel better or that I can walk around in a T shirt and feel ‘hip’).

      If everyone is helping out in any way they can, that’s fine with me. And if you’re using your talents/skills to help raise 10K$ for Japan? Then what are people complaining about if they don’t come up with a better plan themselves that raises that kind of money?

    • @Fabian: If you are collecting money in that amount, then its OK. If you are collecting money at all with this, then its OK. Of course! All I am saying is that it’s kind of weird to buy a poster to support the campaign. What do I do with a poster? I hang it on the wall and look at it. So far so good. If this would be an ad campaign, then you would be given more information how to help. If you need a poster to get more awareness you definitly need some guidance on how to help, because the news didn’t get to you already. But on this poster no information is given where to help, wich organisation to give the money and so on. The sole purpose is therefore to buy it. Even though the money is used for good – as was stated before and I hope this is true – this feels quite strange. What is left in the end is an artwork which some guy made and the fact that somebody bought it.
      I think there are better ways to spend money for this kind of cause. But, as said before: Everybody can do what he wants to do but on the other hand, he can’t expect people to like it.

  • “I’d love to see how raising 10K$ will oh so help Japan, considering the vast amount of damage and the incredible number of population (they’re more than you americans for that matter). Maybe the money will end up repairing a fence or two..”

    Um, what?! You’re discoraging people from donating money to help? Are you retarded? Let people help – regarless of how. How dare you steer people away from donating.

  • My point was not to stop donations… Donating is a good thing, done right. My point was that this is a marketing strategy, not a donation rush. If you Are in such a urge to donate why not give your money to a ngo instead of gettino a tee shirt and some tweets back on tour profile?

    And, please read better before posting a reply. The only thing i dare to do is to ask for less hypocrisy.

  • Here is how I see it:

    Although it is almost impossible to create even more awareness, everything that helps does help.

    From CNN to your local newspaper, everybody bringing you the news IS earning money by this, and that’s just fair.
    And most of the money is needed because even rescue workers and the organizations and people working over there need it to survive.

    It s understandable why some people might see this as a marketing stunt, but even if it was, it is still helps creating awareness. And even if somebody is giving his money directly to an organization of his trust because of this discussion, that’s a good thing too – even if it’s not the intended way.

    I have seen mothers selling cake and lemonade to raise a few bucks for all kinds of stuff with nobody complaining.
    Maybe because that is simply what they are able to do.

    Whatever you feel might be the best thing to do – just DO it.
    Complaining doesn’t help.

    Money does, because unfortunately money is part of the game.

  • Thank`s,Visualsushi “I have seen mothers selling cake and lemonade to raise a few bucks for all kinds of stuff with nobody complaining.” Brilliant point, for these people…this kind of disscusions it`s the reason why the humanity it`s stuck in the moment like Bono says.
    OK Mr`s your argument it valid, your win…James is more famous now…and so what? but the truth is :
    Complaining doesn’t help.Complaining doesn’t help.Complaining doesn’t help.!!…

  • I continue reading about “complaining doesn’t help”.

    While this could be true hypocrisy isn’t helping either.
    I’d really appreciate if people advertised their stuff for what they are: products.
    The helping japan is only a byproduct.

    I’m not complaining about helping, i’m complaining about people believing that this is help and not a product.

    This whole money thing is the actual reason for the state of affairs in the world. but i digress.

    • I think everybody understands your point.

      But here’s a thought:
      At first glance it seems much more honourable to help without any trade-off.
      But most people’s resources are limited, as are their options.
      What they are able to do is in most of the cases not what is actually needed, so how do you make all your capabilities or talents useful?
      By raising money.

      Do a garage sale, sell cake, design posters, organize concerts.
      Remember the LiveAid concert?
      Different scale but bottomline the same thing.

      It doesn’t make much of a difference, when exactly the money was earned, earlier or right now, for this special purpose.

      At least this is how I see it.




  • Dear all

    JAPAN needs our help.


    and do your best

    don’t forget we all can be in that situation

  • These guys are doing a great job raising money for a much needed cause.

    Why are there so many haters and attention seekers out there trying to bring them down,
    What have you done to help apart from being negative?

    Keep going guys your doing a great job!

  • Paypal to the red cross, that is what I did. I agree with Dr.Strangelove, if you want to donate just donate.

  • I feel like I need to explain my statement. 🙂

    The t-shirts are great because people that may not donate may do donate because of this (or in addition to thier other donations). And they are sold out so it really doesn’t matter.

    The point is if you give $100 to red cross (as an example) they get 100% of the money.

    (I don’t know the numbers) But say you buy 5 shirts for $100, and $20 goes to materials, then only $80 goes to red cross.

    If I was over there I rather have food then to know some American (because people always bagging on Americans or “Mericans” as Nascar people say) is wearing a t-shirt of my flag breaking.

    • “wearing a t-shirt of my flag breaking.”
      his design is for a poster, not T-shirt.

      I’m sorry if you have been living under a rock, but the world isn’t made up of pure hearted moneybags donating after every newscast of a natural disaster.
      The masses do need something to wear, or a product to receive to show they have spent money on a particular cause. It’s the lesser of two evils, either that or we all ignore it and let the governments make the fundraising campaigns and watch how hideous they make everything look. The masses wouldn’t even look twice, let alone become interested and read more on the event.

    • True that!! Like the rubber bracelets sold in as gas stations (where in most cases less than a percent goes to the cause.) You are right Max, most people need something to hold to part with their money. Less money for a double down.

      Oh a poster! I retract my statement. 🙂

      btw: I do like the design! Looks like a WWII movie poster. I mean that in a good way!

    • I will admit that I have been watching the footage on the news and in the newspapers for days without going to a charity website and donating anything.

      When I came to this blog, as I do regularly, I saw this post, clicked through, and donated. I know that it is very easy to criticise the type of person that I am portraying myself as, because I ‘needed a cool poster’ to encourage me to donate and the footage on the news wasn’t enough but I am sure I am not alone. The fact that the posters sold out and James has been able to donate thousands of dollars as a result backs up my point.

      Yes, some people donate to every cause and every charity under the sun, and maybe the next time something horrible happens in the world I will feel more encouraged to do the same. Others however, need a little encouragement (it sucks but it’s the world we live in). In short, $30 will be going to help the situation in Japan that more than likely would not have been going had James not created this poster/campaign and gone out of pocket to do so.

      In fact you yourself are encouraging people to donate money directly to the Red Cross, piggy backing off the very campaign that you are criticising. You even go as far as to include a link to your website within your username on your blog post. (A little hypocritical if you ask me).

      You choose to use the art of ranting to encourage people to donate to a good cause, James chose to use his skillset to do the same, and in turn helped you convey your message.

      How anyone can criticise anyone for encouraging people to donate money to charity is beyond me. If you were more like James then there would be another $4000 heading over to help the situation, but you are not, so there isn’t.

      But at least those poor people in Japan will be safe in the knowledge that whilst they sit next to their destroyed homes and belongings, at least there are fewer people wearing a t-shirt encouraging others to donate and help them out.

  • I have made my cinema 4D Version!



    Slightly melodramatic title but interesting article.

    I don’t think questions should be brushed off as negativity, criticism or accusations of evil intentions, although of course the internet is great at showcasing such talent! I think it’s a very valid subject for debate – it’s obviously a bit of a grey area.

  • “btw: I do like the design! Looks like a WWII movie poster. I mean that in a good way!”


  • just stole the design. sometimes emulation is the best sign of flattery, sometimes a aign of a lack of education.

  • I’ve been following this for a while – and had my own knee jerk reaction being married into a family directly effected and married to someone from the Tokyo area. I agreed with Dr. Stranglelove about stylizing a disaster, but felt additionally that this was a piece of self-promotion in the face of an unfolding disaster in a sovreign country. If James had included link on his site to donate, fine, but, this felt like opportunism by this new breed of ubiquitous self-promoter designers who do personal projects not just for the art but for platforms that they know will get seen. So my question and challenge is that I wonder if this was MORE for james than Japan

    AND… has Japan asked for our help?

    do you think Japan has a problem coming up with $7k? Its the worlds 3rd largest economy. The help thats needed has been more on the level of getting supplies to the coastal towns and figuring out the nuclear sittuation. Not getting $7,000

    How about making a poster to get your country – Canada and/or the US to chill with the endless imperial wars and in the case of the US, chill on the 3rd world style class warfare and international megalomania

    sorry, but I think the poster made you look bad bro

    positivity is not always the answer, for solutions, for self-promotion it totally is the answer

  • We forget to quickly, i am from Africa and i know what a dollar can do. When an earthquake hits you….it’s does not spare a rich mans mansion. Just because you are the the third richest country doesn’t mean that your people are made of alluminium? We are all human.

    $5, $100, $1000, $7000 who cares? The guy had initiative-period.

    When Bono Calls out? or When Jay-Z raps about it? No one says a thing! Is he looking for publicity? Maybe? But granted the cash goes to use whether in Japan or not… i know Red Cross will use that $7000 someday. They have staff you know….

    Behaving like you don’t have neighbors in this planet is stupid. So if your country gets hit today…should i shut up??

    Everybody on this earth has a sphere of influence parents,teachers,street preachers, artists, musicians, dancers, politicians….and when they speak; people listen…..

  • Truly I bought it for help and remember how little we are.

  • Help me to raise money to help Japan! Search for Ivan Vs Burger on Facebook or Twitter, and visit my charity page:

    ANY donation will be greatly appreciated, and the raised money will go to the British Red Cross!

    Thank you!!!

  • I will never donate money to japan ever again

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