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Interview with Tsutomu Tojo

Home > Designer Interviews > Tsutomu Tojo

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Tsutomu Tojo (TT) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Tsutomu Tojo by clicking here.

Interview with Tsutomu Tojo at Saturday 2nd of May 2020

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TT: I don't remember how I became a designer. Maybe I think it was a natural process to become a designer.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TT: ZICCA Design is a Japanese design firm. It incorporates the Japanese philosophy of Zen into its design and conveys a simple and powerful message to the user. Then, focusing on corporate and regional branding and website design, we do various designs to convey the appeal of clients, such as brochures, posters, video works, and logos.

FS: What is "design" for you?
TT: For me, design is everything I need.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TT: I like the simple, easy-to-understand message design.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TT: I really like the gum “XYLITOL" gum packaging design. The package conveys all of the product. The color of the package lets you imagine the taste, the mark tells you that it is a good product for your teeth, and the product name is very easy to understand. I feel that it is one of the completed designs.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TT: I always think that the design is natural. Do you really need the picture? Is the decoration really needed? If you ignore these and design, it will be very unnatural and bad design.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TT: Basically, I ignore my emotions during design. In many cases, I become a user and think about how I feel when I look at a design.

FS: What makes a design successful?
TT: I think it is necessary to succeed in thinking thoroughly. It's important to think deeply about what the user wants, whether it's the design they are happy with or not.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TT: I first look at how to get the margins. Good design comes with calculated margins.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TT: I think that more parts will be left to AI. By letting AI take care of our designers, they can spend their time thinking about a really easy-to-use UI.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TT: In all my design work, I get inspiration from the Japanese “Zen Spirit”. Also, various Zen-influenced Japanese cultures are very creative, profound and a source of my inspiration.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
TT: My design style is "Zen style design". The Japanese Zen philosophy is incorporated into the design to convey a simple, elegant and powerful message to the user.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TT: I live in Japan. Japanese culture is a culture that values the attention to detail. It is a very important element for design. Born and raised in Japan, I have acquired a sense of nature and attention to detail. I think that is my personality as a designer. I am grateful to my hometown of Japan and its culture.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TT: Tell me what you think. From there, the designer finds the essence and puts together the main points. And it's best to let the designer completely decide how to convey it. We are professionals who have been practicing and practicing for years what they feel when they see them. Incorporating client preferences in design is not a good idea. I think there is no doubt about choosing a good designer by choosing a designer who has won the A'Design Award.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TT: Just move it!

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TT: The negatives of being a designer is that you can't help but worry about the kerning on the street signs. On the positives side, we won the A'Design Award!

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TT: Skills of listening to the client and seeing the essence are important.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TT: I mainly use Adobe products. I also read "Daniel Kahneman Thinking, Fast and Slow" over and over again.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TT: I will strictly adhere to the deadline, and will not manage the time very carefully.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
TT: Companies and public bodies and etc.. There are relatively many clients related to tourism.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TT: Until now, I used to work in Japan, so it would be best if I could work in various countries around the world!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TT: In most cases I design by myself.

FS: How can people contact you?
TT: Please contact me from the contact form on my website.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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