"Sony design must be standardized"
Having signed a temporary contract with Sony in 1953, Norio Ohga joined the company formally in 1959 and would later go on to become Sony's President and, subsequently, Chairman. In 1961, he offered some advice to Akio Morita (one of the company's founders) who was Executive Vice-President at the time.
"Sony design must be standardized. Let's bring Sony's designers together in one place."
Prior to this, Sony's designers had been allocated to individual divisions---the tape recorder designer to the tape recorder division, the radio designer to the radio division, and so on. Each designer used their own discretion, and designs were approved via each designer's immediate supervisor. If approved by the immediate supervisor, the product received the Sony logo and was then put on the market. Ohga believed this made it impossible to create a unified image for the company.
Morita's response to his advice was, "Well then, you do it!" This led to the establishment of a new design office in 1961, and Ohga became its first manager. The company's designers worked together in one place, and adopted a firm policy on creating uniform designs. Ohga was convinced it was essential that (no matter which business division manufactured the product) there must be a single uniform philosophy behind the Sony logo placed on each. This quickly led to the birth of the "Black & Silver" design. The use of these two colors (black and silver) as an esthetic expression ultimately became a definitive signature design for Sony.
Founded just after the war, Sony had arrived at a crossroads where it was at last about to emerge from the ranks of small and medium-sized enterprises, and Ohga was the first person to realize how important design was from the perspective of establishing a unique corporate, product and brand image. "Black & Silver" was the result, and remained the basic style for Sony products for many years.