Japan has always had a special place for me. In high school, I was a huge anime and video games fan. In college, I watched a bunch of Kurosawa and various other Japanese movies. Mrs. Minafi and I have visited there twice – once for fun and once for our honeymoon. Some of my fondest memories with mom involve us going out for sushi and laughing together. Other areas of Japanese culture I’m still exploring today – like Zen Buddhism.
The Minafi Logo
I’m not a designer, but one of the nice parts about having a blog on minimalism means that I can get away with a minimalist logo. I noticed that with the font I was using for Minafi, Lato, the “fi” formed a single character. I wondered how it would look if there was an M in there as well? I opened up Photoshop, changed the font to Lato, and tried typing these letters in and slicing them to make the logo. I noticed it looked like a torii and thought “that’s cool”. It wasn’t my goal, but as soon as I saw it, I knew it I knew. In all, it took about 20 minutes. I thought “good enough for now”, added it to the site and continued in.
This was only supposed to be a gap fix until I could hire a designer to create a real logo. The more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Now I absolutely love it, and even ordered a t-shirt with the logo!
What is a Torii?
In Shinto, a torii is a gate that one passes through to reach a temple. Passing through the torii is passing from the profane to the sacred, or from human to the spirit world. I love this analogy as it relates to mindfulness. Passing through a torii forces you to recognize that your mindset should shift at this moment. There is nothing forcing someone to make this shift, but those aware of the meaning do it internally.
If you’re walking around and you see a torii, remember that the area beyond is special.
A Logo as a Torii
I love the analogy of a logo as a torii – being a reminder to make a mindset shift. For Minafi, I’m hoping that seeing the logo will represent a mindset focus on minimalism, mindfulness and financial independence. The logo itself is a reminder to be mindful of for me – causing me to take a step back and realize what I’m thinking about and where my mind is at. I’m hoping that in time readers of Minafi feel the same.