About Us

Izumi Motai holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute and an Associate’s Degree in Advertising Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City. His work in the manufacturing, advertising and publishing industry has built his expertise in multiple design genres, among them packaging, label design, graphic and book design. Izumi’s success in his design work and with his clients stems from his creativity, reliability, and respect for his clients’ input.

    One thing that informs Izumi’s creative work is the belief that in the design of any product, be it a wine label or a book, there is a story being told, and that his job as a designer is to capture that story.

    Izumi currently resides and operates his business in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Professional Associates

Izumi Motai has been a member of the Association of Personal Historians and has collaborated in creating many books with Trena Cleland, an established and highly respected personal historian. Izumi's collaboration with Trena goes back to 2004.


Other writers and editors Izumi has worked with include:

Carla Koop (Memoirs & More)

Julie Blade (Lifetime Chronicles)

Leslie Rupley (LTR Productions)

Linda Hamilton (Stories to Last)

Charles Rubin (NewCentury Publishers)

"Izumi’s design of my book, Reflections: a memoir, was done with such care and thought. He understood my point of view and created a book that feels 'me' and is beautiful."

— Tanis Walters, Client, Reflections: a memoir


"Izumi seemed to understand my thoughts and feelings about the book. He, together with my editor, helped in developing my story and created an opportunity for me to collaborate with a local historical society. Creating my personal history became a new and exciting venture for me."

— Ken Machado, Client, Once from Salinas Always From Salinas


"[Having] my mother’s book made continues to be one of the smartest things that we have ever done.”

— Ron Duncanson, Client, Our Family, My Life


"Izumi Motai’s layout and design work is faultless, and working with him on a project is a delight. He has superlative artistic skills and personal integrity, and I would recommend him without question to my clients."

— Leslie Rupley, Editor, Direct Descendants of a Hessian Soldier


"My book is remarkable. It’s the most beautiful book of its type that I’ve seen.

Books like this will inspire future generations to gather photos and share their stories.”

Paul Soltow, Client, All Hands on Deck


"Not only was Izumi Motai instrumental in producing a high quality and beautiful book, but working with him on the design added depth and pleasure to the whole experience. He was sensitive to me and my story, and affirmed the value of the book that was being created. I highly recommend Izumi as an easy-to-work with, creative, and skillful designer."

— Lowell Brook, Client, I Knew Myself There


"It was truly a meaningful project and I thank you for producing such a beautiful family treasure.”

— Jenny Aronson, Client, My Life – Memories of a Kaesong Girl


"The design process in the development of Direct Descendants of Johann Henrich Hempe, A Hessian Soldier went so smoothly because of Izumi’s vision, spirit of teamwork, guidance and attention to detail.”

— Diane de Golia, Client, Direct Descendants of a Hessian Soldier

"As soon as I saw Izumi’s artistry on the internet, I was smitten. When he designed my privately-published memoir, his vision exceeded my sense of what was possible.  A bonus is that Izumi is just wonderful to work with — enthusiastic, innovative, and inspiring."

— Karen M. Paget, Client, Last Days of the House


"Understanding the nature of personal history, he can work with different systems of organization of written content and images. He is also very easy-going; a delight to work with!"

— Linda A. Hamilton, Owner, Stories to Last


"Izumi Motai is in a class of the most innovative and talented of designers today. His book covers not only capture the essence of the pages within, but entice a reader to choose that particular book.“

— Charles Rubin, Author

President, NewCentury Publishers


I. Motai Design

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