Education: Visual Design
Joined Sony: 2013
Role: Communication Designer
Majoring in Visual Design at an art college, I learned about visual communication as a whole. Something that I’m aware of every day at this job is how the way I perceive limitations has changed since I was a student. As a student, I enjoyed exploring free expression in response to a given topic, and I thought that I wouldn’t be able to express the things I wanted to if there were too many limitations. But in my work now, I derive a sense of enjoyment from figuring out how to achieve the maximum output within set rules and limited time.
Ever since I was student, I knew that if I were going to do creative work, I wanted it to be in an environment where I could contribute on a global level. Since joining Sony, I’ve visited factories in China and Thailand to observe color proofing as a part of packaging work, and traveled abroad to stand in on photo and video shoots. I’ve also participated in "exchange programs" for study abroad, through which I had the chance to gain about three months of experience at an overseas Design Center. Because I’ve expressed interest in global activities, I think that my supervisors have gone out of their way to create these kinds of opportunities for me internally as well.
After I first joined Sony, I spent a period working on packaging design under the supervision of various category leaders for headphones, speakers, and so on. I later worked on headphones targeted at female users and took part in both the packaging design and photo shoots to be used for websites and catalogs. Up to that point I’d only designed packaging, but with this project I had the chance to design the world of an entire product. That led me to the next stage, which is my current post overseeing general Product Communication for TVs.
In addition to packaging design, my work consists of producing key visuals and shooting situational images to be used in catalogs. I also create all the materials illustrating the technical appeal of a product. I mediate between marketing and production staff for the demonstrational and promotional videos to be played in stores, and provide support from an overall communications perspective. I feel like my work immediately widened in scope after taking on the responsibility of Communication Design for TVs. Of course there have been times when I worried about my ability to live up to the demands of new projects, but I’m surrounded by a diverse and highly specialized group of individuals who offer me warm advice whenever I need it. Sony is an environment that gives me opportunities to take on new challenges, and in overcoming adversity, I’ve been able to savor many moments in which I realized that my own capabilities had grown, little by little.
Packaging design involves collaboration with packaging engineers and planners, along with distributors in each country. I also make factory visits when the occasion calls for it, so I sometimes work with local staff as well. Marketing tools are first requested by the Product Communication Section, and we at the Creative Center then work in coordination with the marketing team to give shape to those expressions. Logo design also has to be discussed with intellectual property management while it is carried out. Thus, I truly interact with a variety of people as part of this job. Some projects also require a great deal of cooperation from external staff, so I believe that communication above all else is essential in getting the work to proceed smoothly and producing superior results.
Travel is my hobby, and I make trips to both Europe and Asia. I’m always looking to expand my horizons, so I’m interested in going anywhere I’ve never been before. I feel the same way at work -- I want to expand my horizons by gaining the ability to engage in genuine discussion with any individual. That’s because I’m surrounded by a diverse group of highly skilled people whom I deeply respect. I believe that becoming more proficient at engaging with these colleagues on a deep level that takes me even one step closer to them as role models would serve as a huge advantage to Communication Design (CD). When abroad, a lot of what is considered common knowledge here in Japan doesn’t apply and small mishaps are bound to occur, so travel is an excellent chance to polish my communicative and interactive skills in that sense as well.
Being able to engage in discussions with planners starting from the stage before the design is set, and to consider a single idea on a deep level over the long term -- having the chance to look at overall Product Communications from a broad perspective is one of the interesting parts of this job. The scope of the work is vaster than I had ever imagined and new projects can sometimes be confusing, but no matter the job, I try to proactively accumulate knowledge, not just as a designer, but as a Sony employee. I believe that this allows me to communicate on a deeper level with everyone involved in the work and to help the entire project advance in a better direction. My most immediate goal right now is to be able to oversee CD for a single category. Looking further to the future, I’d like to provide CD for the branding of a new business.
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