Mar. 2018

Design is infinitely deep Design is infinitely deep Design is infinitely deep

Mayumi Sano/Designer, No. 4 Design Studio

There are as many methodologies as there are different countries and different people.

Mayumi Sano

Designer, No. 4 Design Studio

Born in 1984. Sano joined Nippon Design Center after graduating from Musashino Art University’s Department of Visual Communication Design in 2007. She has participated in everything from branding projects at the Hara Design Institute and Daikoku Design Institute to exchange training with Kontrapunkt (Denmark) due to her interest in building identities centered on typefaces. Sano continues to be highly interested in Japanese and international branding projects. Her hobbies include nageire flower arrangement. She also enjoys looking for flower vases at flea markets and antique markets.

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Hello, my name is Mayumi Sano. I am a designer at Nippon Design Center. Ten years after joining NDC, I applied to the overseas training program. I worked at Kontrapunkt in Denmark for six months before returning to Japan at the end of last year.

What impressed me at work there was that clients present specific requests concerning typefaces during orientation. It may have something to do with everyday things such as furniture and architecture, but the level of design literacy in Denmark felt very high. That also means that no matter how beautiful a design might be, the concept and story must be clear for it to be accepted. Every day I felt that persuasiveness was required, in addition to ideas and strong suitability.

Also, with all work, it was never one person doing all of the thinking. Midway through, we would share ideas and go through them to see which were good, which were bad, which could be improved by doing such and such, and so on. Talking as we designed was an interesting experience. The atmosphere was such that everyone was very frank, always exchanging jokes and laughing. I want to remember that humor should never be forgotten, even when we are busy.

Of the work I handled, a poster for a kite festival was especially memorable. With this poster, I wanted to add some Japanese elements somewhere, so I used some Japanese characters and a gradation that is considered Japanese. I hope to continue to be actively involved in overseas projects in the future.

I was also very inspired by the way people worked. Generally, everyone produced strong results and still left the office at 17:00. While I was only there for a short time, the experience made me want to increase my productivity so that I can do better work. I love my work, but I also want to place the same value on my personal life.

After this overseas training, I became keenly aware of my own deficiencies. And with just 10 years of experience, I realized I still have a long ways to go as a designer. There are as many methodologies as there are different countries and different people, and design allows you to go infinitely deep. My own interest in design has grown. Being able to seek out solutions to problems together with clients and use design to bring joy is a great feeling. I hope to continue designing into my old age.

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