Design Group at Global Technology Division
Designing everything from GUI to corporate identity
Deep inside the headquarters located in Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, is a design studio where Imai goes about his daily work. Getting there is like being teleported into a Silicon Valley office, with all kinds of pictograms displayed at different locations in a modern space sporting hues of black and blue. These pictograms depict the meaning of each area. For example, the pictogram in front of the design studio means “visualizing insights gained from inspiration." From here, Imai and his colleagues have been pushing out their creations into the world.
”It is exactly 10 years since I joined the company after graduating from university. Although I have been in this design department right from the start, I have no qualms about it. I think it is just the right job for me." Yet the scope that Imai has been in charge of for the past 10 years is really wide, from the design of meters for cars to the GUI shown on display panels, and not just individual parts but also proposing entire instrument panels. At the same time, he is involved in designing the corporate identity for the company’s brand image.
Requiring world-class designs
”Of course, there are also requests from overseas sites. There are all kinds of requests, from orders for the creation of original logos, to designing the space of a new showroom in China. But no matter what request it is, I put my heart into coming up with ideas to create attractive designs. I hope to one by one improve the designs of the many things in the wide range of fields that Calsonic Kansei is involved in.”
Designing the company’s advertisement that was placed on the official program sheet of the 2016 Formula One Japanese Grand Prix left a deep impression on Imai. The Formula One Grand Prix is not just the peak of racing in the world. Even the advertisement designs need to be of world-class quality. In a limited time, the team had to select photos of the race cars, take photos of the products, brainstorm the text for the advertisement, and complete the design. And of course, all these elements had to incorporate the visual identity of Calsonic Kansei. The design was completed after passing stringent checks, and was placed together with other advertisements from world-renowned companies.
Comfortable clothing for people working around the world
In order to actively put forward his own proposals, Imai also leads a study into clothing design for people working in plants and offices. “With sites all over the world, it is clear that each area will be different in aspects such as temperature. I try to come up with the most suitable and functional design for each environment." Imai sees the company, and the world, from a design perspective.
Currently, Imai is not only working, but also attending a graphic design school after work. “I want to be able to incorporate values and stories that are not visible to the eye into my designs. I want to hone myself in this profound world. If possible, I hope to study overseas to learn design techniques and knowledge, and heighten my creativity." Imai said that “right now, I am given freedom to do what I want," but that does not distract him from the goal he has in mind. “I hope to make it so that 10 years from now, we will be known not only for our technology, but also as a company with great designs." "Design is Dream" is carved into the entrance of the design studio. Their dreams will definitely come true.