Joined Sony: 2008
Role: Communication Designer
Not a pastime, but when walking city streets, I find myself admiring store signage or building logos. I appreciate both graphic design and structural design—unusual architecture or pottery, for example. I’ve also developed an epicurean streak.
In communication design, we give people a clear, compelling view of what Sony and our product brands stand for.
MDR-10RC Headphone Packaging
I started in headphone packaging design, where I could master packaging basics. About halfway through my first year, I began contributing across the board in design direction for TVs, initially in a supporting role and later with more authority, under a producer. Besides packaging, I helped design promotional videos, brochures, and websites.
By my third or fourth year, I was dealing with products of all sizes, from cameras to headphones and TVs. This is my fifth year, and I’m currently a team leader for Walkman® players, voice recorders, and other personal audio products.
In packaging design, my priority is that first moment when you see your new product. I try to make it easy to open the box and remove your product. Other priorities are deciding the best internal layout to showcase products, in view of their distinguishing features, and organizing cords neatly. I discuss approaches with our packaging engineers as I find solutions.
In packaging used overseas for Walkman® W players, we recreated how the unit is actually worn, demonstrating its excellent fit. We took advantage of space in the packaging to show the elegant lines and curves—even the earbuds that fit in your ears. To do so, we created and tested several mock-ups of the packaging. Visually, the packaging fully captures the energy and dynamism of sports. We chose background colors with impact, so that the product stands out in the packaging, and the packaging stands out in stores.
Walkman® NWD-W270 Packaging (outside of Japan)
In communication design, we convey the brand image effectively through packaging as well as promotional photos and in-store videos we produce, which rely on key visuals. For these, we arrange sets by choosing fitting models and accessories. We also use the photos online and in brochures. It’s satisfying that we can design how products speak to people at so many touchpoints.
Toward this end, it’s essential to hear about general trends and trends in sales from our marketing experts, and to conduct competitive research at electronics stores around the world. What’s the best way to convey what a product represents? This is what I’m always thinking about.
Key Visual for the VAIO® F Series
As the name seems to imply, communication design requires us to collaborate with people in a variety of other offices—not only within the Creative Center but also with engineering and people in other business groups. I make it a point to gather information before our first meeting, and to clarify our goals and general direction early on. In this way, communication design makes internal meetings go more smoothly, and we think we fulfill an important role in carrying projects forward.
I also make it a point to share my beliefs and opinions with others. Candid exchanges of opinion are essential in deepening understanding and making progress.
Now that I’m in my fifth year, communication design takes me beyond packaging, as I work with photographers, filming crews, and many others. There are challenges, but my routine is enjoyable and fulfilling. In the future, I think it would be interesting to help design all touchpoints with consumers before their purchase.
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