Eshita: How could we share these design goals and what excited our designers with people through Sony branding for BRAVIA and other home entertainment products? That was my role, and my work ranged from organizing the Monolithic Design concept (concept-building) to helping us tell the story of this development in promotional communication.
I asked myself many questions. What values of ours could we share with consumers? What exactly was this shift in values we sought? In each case, Monolithic Design yielded compelling answers. The first time I saw mock-ups, I sensed how promising they were as unprecedented products that could set a new standard.
I also anticipated that we would need a user interface that matched the product design better, and that we must develop a new image for the UI.
Nishizawa: You'll notice the familiar Xross Media Bar (XMB) in the user interface, but it has been refined in subtle ways.
On the screen, the graphics seem to hover over the glass panel, supporting the Monolithic Design theme. Our product designers and engineers both applied a little ingenuity to make it happen. In the UI design as well, edges fade into blackness and other subtle visual cues make the displayed interface seem integrated into the product itself.
On-screen lighting effects give an impression of depth and direct your attention to what you should focus on (which seems to float). These touches make controlling the set enjoyable. Once you access Favorites, for example, the main screen drops into the background, and the illuminated options in front of you hover over it.
You'll also notice that instead of a yellow glow to indicate selected items, there's a new prismatic effect. The effect builds on colors in underlying images, so it's both natural-looking and beautiful. You can see how carefully the glow is rendered, too. The selector seems to pulsate, as if breathing, and it changes color over time.
These and many other details contribute to well-integrated product and interface design, rounding out the Monolithic Design and sense of presence the sets convey.
Eshita: In promotional material as well (especially visual communication), we make sure you can appreciate the freshness of Monolithic Design and the values it represents, not to mention the attitudes of our designers.
There are many things to admire in the Sony entertainment ecosystem: superb picture and audio quality, Internet connectivity for access to much more content, and intelligent features that respond to the installation environment, for example.
To demonstrate that Sony home entertainment products have truly changed and excite you about transforming your own living room with a new television, we focused on how fresh Monolithic Design feels—a sense of presence that sets the tone for the room as a whole. Some promotional material draws on a study we conducted after expressing the ambiance of Monolithic Design visually, in order to convey how it can change a living room (and in what ways) clearly.
Maesaka: Specifically, we started by preparing hundreds of visual scenarios with the Monolithic Design product group. Using this material, we set to work verifying how it met our expectations. It proved how versatile this design approach is. The products obviously blend in nicely in home environments, but they even look beautiful outdoors, in natural settings. After adding models representing people to these scenarios, we saw the potential not only of demonstrating how elegant the products are but also of showing how these lifestyles are desirable.
Good examples of Monolithic Design are simple and minimalist, but they yield fresh and fulfilling experiences for us. Focus only on product appearance, and you miss highlighting this valuable quality. What gave us the complete picture was an idea that emerged after repeated study.
In advertising, we have used some key visuals to express Monolithic Design. One visual representing the resolute presence of the home entertainment product group is the figure of a standing girl. We chose to have the TV on in the ad, which is our attempt to convey the kind of experience the television affords, so that people can recall some kind of story involving this kind of setting.
Other promotional material introduces what led to the conception of Monolithic Design. But whether in videos such as these or in the details of feature illustrations in printed brochures or online advertising, we ensure the same tone and style in a variety of publicity. We make sure our messages in advertising are consistent. Once you see what we're trying to convey in stores or on the pages of brochures, we hope you'll experience it for yourself in your own living room.
Matsuoka: We believe that Monolithic Design introduces new values in home entertainment and will motivate people to update the overall ambiance of their living room. May these products excite you about the new style of entertainment that can be yours.