Interview with Kimiko Ida

Winner of Packaging Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Kimiko Ida shares insights


Interview with Kimiko Ida at Monday 7th of May 2018:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
KI : From a young age, I enjoyed drawing and crafting. I chose the arts as an elective discipline in high school, and majored in graphic design Tama Art University.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
KI : I believe that, regardless of if you are aware of it or not, design has the power to enrich your life and daily activities. I am happy that my love of creating things can contribute to to that.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
KI : I chose to be a designer. I feel incredibly happy when I am able to participate in making things.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
KI : I work on product branding, concept proposals, and package design direction. I would like to work on designs that directly affect daily life or even work on designing lifestyles.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
KI : I am still far from being a “legend,” but I believe that by putting yourself in the shoes of users, you can more clearly see what must be done. And, you should look at a lot of nice things.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
KI : I believe that a great designer doesn’t shy away from various situations, doesn’t give up, and is able to enjoy their work.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
KI : I believe that a design that is appealing upon first sight is visually simple with great care paid to every detail.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
KI : I think that good design should be simultaneously surprising and pleasing, that it should become a part of your day-to-day life before you even realize it, and that its effect on your life should be positive. I think one benefit of investing in good design is that you are able to play a part in that process.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
KI : I would like to design something beyond the fields that I have already worked in and make something that users want to always keep on hand and interact with on a lifestyle level.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
KI : When considering the work that I have engaged in up until now, I would like to create something that communicates to those with visual impairments.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
KI : Things spotted during travel. Taking photos of appealing details. Using imagination.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
KI : Yusaku Kamekura, Shiro Kuramata, Fang Zhaoling

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
KI : There are a lot, but I particularly like Yusaku Kamekura’s “Miss Blanche.” It’s outside of my area of expertise, but it is elegant, functional, and original.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
KI : The redesign of a chocolate with 90 years of history. Making new things is wonderful as well, but there is a particular honor in being a part of something with history.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
KI : Learn from everything. Listen until you hear the user’s voice.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
KI : A craftsman, an artist… another job where I could make things.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
KI : That there is a “user” at the end of it all. It should be something that that enriches the users life and heart.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
KI : The teammates who work on the projects with me. The creators around me. My teachers.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
KI : To be curious about everything.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
KI : Internal stakeholders. There are times when they are obstacles, and there are times when they give me the push I need.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?
KI : In a form that reaches the user.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
KI : Exploring the concept of “gifts.” I would be happy if something I make connects people to other people.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
KI : Making people’s lives better.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
KI : That the things made by them are loved for a long time.

DL: How does design help create a better society?
KI : I believe that design can aid society by eliminating inconveniences and speaking to user’s hearts.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
KI : Currently on the lookout.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
KI : This project in particular exceeded our expectations and was greatly received by the customers. The customers took the packages and played with them, making illustrations, accessories, present boxes, etc. I was very glad to see the package being given another life.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
KI : A world where there are no borders between art and design. We would live very enriched lives.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?
KI : I think that borders will be eliminated.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
KI : Depending on the project, it takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 1.5 years.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
KI : I start by imagining myself in the shoes of the user.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?
KI : I aim to create designs that give users joy.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
KI : I think it’s a circle, but trends are born from good products.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
KI : To speed up the confirmation process in deciding the design image.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
KI : MAC, Windows, Illustrator, Photoshop, Paper, Pencil…

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
KI : Communication. Creating a product with a “finished” look.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?
KI : I would like them to ask themselves what they could bring to it.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
KI : While I am excited, I feel the presser to pull myself together and work harder.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
KI : I currently don’t do any work without a partner. Working with partners expands horizons and brings better results.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?
KI : Those creators working around and above me.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?
KI : “Ki ni Manabe” by Tsunekazu Nishioka, “ICON,” old art books, etc…

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
KI : Working on designs as a team. Those around you will shape you as a designer.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?
KI : Leonardo Da Vinci, Jakuchu Ito, Yusaku Kamkura

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
KI : It feels really wonderful, but it wasn’t me alone who received the award. Everybody involved in the project was honored. Because we had good results this time, we must put even more effort into our next endeavor.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
KI : Pastels, being in nature, chocolate, clear things (stones, glass, etc.), and mina perhonen.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
KI : Experiencing a change in company strategy and goals through the power of good design.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
KI : Meeting nice people, seeing nice things, and eating nice foods. When I come up with a good idea.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
KI : When I was a child, I loved drawing pictures, and now I am still working towards becoming a better designer.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
KI : I’m hoping that borders of various natures are eliminated from the world.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
KI : I am just as much a fan of all the other creatives out there.