Embracing Japanese Culture: A Discussion with Ren Morita on the Tokyo E-Prix Poster


Andretti Formula E continues its landmark tenth season with a visit to uncharted territory as the Formula E grid will race through the bustling streets of Tokyo for the first time in the series history. For the inaugural Tokyo E-Prix, Andretti Formula E continues its collaboration with local artists in a bid to produce a poster that integrates motorsports with the distinctive characteristics of each city’s culture. For the 2024 Tokyo E-Prix, Japanese artist Ren Morita brings a unique perspective to bring to life the significance of this race through his graphic design skill. Ren, a self-taught designer and freelance graphic artist, finds joy in the creative process, particularly in realizing new expressions and ideas. For Ren, being Japanese means embracing the rich cultural heritage of kawaii anime and manga intertwined with the concept of kachofugetsu. Embracing the opportunity to collaborate, Ren infuses his poster design with quintessential Japanese simplicity and the aesthetic principles of Zen culture. 

Tell us about yourself – where are you from, what do you do? 

Hello! My name is Ren Morita, and I’m from Japan. I’m self-taught in design, currently working as a freelance graphic designer. 

What do you enjoy about being a graphic designer? 

I really enjoy creating a design that pleases the client, of course, but also when I’m able to project an expression or idea that I have not been able to do before. As with all things, perfection does not exist. There are always new possibilities and discoveries for me and what I enjoy the most is the constant pursuit of this and breaking out of my shell of the past. 

We chose you and your work to represent Japan – what does being Japanese mean to you? 

First of all, I would like to thank Andretti for selecting me to design the poster for the Tokyo race. I think it’s a very important question – “what it means to be Japanese,”, particularly from a creator’s point of view. There are two forms of “Japanese-ness” in graphic design that I value. The first is the kawaii culture of anime and manga, and the second is the natural beauty that has been handed down from generation to generation, which is unique to the land of Japan. In Japan, this is called kachofugetsu. 

Do you like motorsport? What does it mean to work with the Andretti team? 

To be honest, I didn’t know much about motorsport. However, when I looked into racing and the Andretti team, I gained a great deal of knowledge that I did not know before. It was very interesting to learn about the history of Andretti and how many different motorsports they compete in. So, I say let’s all enjoy all forms of motorsports! 

What was your design process for this poster? 

For the poster design process, I decided to start with the Japanese language to give it an all-over Japanese feel. I tried to express Japan in the simplest possible manner. The design was stripped down to the bare essentials. Simplicity is a Japanese aesthetic, and it is also connected to Zen in Japanese culture. 

Talk to us about the poster design – why did you include those colors and elements?  

Expanding on my previous answer, I thoroughly thought about how best to express Japanese-ness. The Japanese language is composed of three types of characters: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. When I expressed Andretti in katakana, I found the circle of the Japanese flag. I also thought about how to make each character original by writing them one by one. Textures can add three dimensionality, or movement, to a flat design. This is one of the key points of the design. Fortunately, red, the brand color of the Andretti Formula E team, was a great help in expressing Japan. 

For Andretti Formula E fans visiting Tokyo for this race, what places should they visit and what food should they eat? 

Japan, especially Tokyo, has a diverse mix of cultures. You may discover the beautiful culture of Japan, or on the contrary, you may discover the disorderly side of Japan. I would recommend a visit to a history museum or art museum. It will be a very exciting experience to learn about Japan’s history firsthand. Tokyo offers some of the finest cuisine you will ever taste if you are willing to pay for it. However, I would recommend the conveyor belt sushi and beef bowls. You will be impressed by the inexpensive and very high-quality food. The service is also outstanding. This is something you can only experience in Japan. Enjoy Tokyo! 

We extend our sincerest appreciation to Ren Morita for his remarkable design of our inaugural Tokyo E-Prix race poster, offering a captivating glimpse into the essence of Japanese culture. To gain further insight into Ren’s artistic perspective, we encourage you to explore his work on his social channels below: 

Instagram: @renmorita_  //  Portfolio: @renmorita1 

Andretti Formula E’s Jake Dennis and Norman Nato are poised to return to racing this Saturday, March 30, for the highly anticipated 2024 Tokyo E-Prix. Join us as the Andretti Formula E team navigates the electrifying streets of Tokyo in Round 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship.