GRACE’S GROVE | Muji: The No-Brand Brand

Since my first purchase of MUJI pens back in 2013, I’ve personally witnessed an exponential increase in the number of people carrying around the signature MUJI clear-bodied gel pens in class. While many of you probably have also been introduced to this brand’s signature stationery, there is actually a lot more to MUJI than meets the eye. The kanji characters in the MUJI logo, 無印良品, directly translate to “No Brand Quality Goods.” According to their website, the company actually originated when the country of Japan started to receive more influence from foreign, luxury brands back in the 1980s. At the same time, there was an increase in low-quality, cheap products. The founders of MUJI aimed to regain the middle ground between these polar opposite consumer trends by creating a brand that was “just enough.” They sought to create useful and high-quality products—without all the excess decorations.