Born and raised in Japan, Yoshimi Kono studied architecture in Tokyo. He was a chief designer with Shigeru Uchida at Studio 80 in Tokyo and later became partner at Vignelli Associates in New York.
He founded Kono Designs in January 2000, a practice active in architecture, interior design, corporate identity, graphics and product design. Examples of his work have appeared in numerous national and international publications including Abitare, Interni, Domus, Casa Vogue, Hinge, Interiors, Interior Design, and ID Magazine. He has won several awards including the 2001 Kitchen & Bath Business Product Innovator Awards for Hardware, the 1994 DDA award from the Japan Display Design Association, the 1994 and 1997 Award of Excellence from the Japan Sign Design Association, the 1995 Award for Best Design from the Japan Typography Association, the 2001, 2005 and 2011 Nikkei New Office Award from the New Office Promotion Association, the 2011 Promotion Award from Japan Facility Management Association and the 2013 Architizer A+ Awards.