LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Tsutomu Tojo ("TT") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

TT : I dropped out of college. After all, I started working for a design company and learned design.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

TT : I don't remember how I became a designer. Maybe I think it was a natural process to become a designer.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

TT : I wanted to become a designer. And it was a natural process.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

TT : 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.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

TT : Just move it!

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

TT : I first look at how to get the margins. Good design comes with calculated margins.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

TT : Good design exists to convey the goodness of a company, product, or service. That's great value for everyone. Good design conveys the appeal of a company or product rather than asserting itself.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

TT : If I have the time and opportunity, I want to design a whole small town. It would be great if we could design everything such as houses, stores, landscapes, infrastructure, and welfare.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

TT : Japanese Zen mind.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

TT : I respect Japanese designer Taku Sato.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

TT : I really like the “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.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

TT : This is the website of "Another Japan Yamagata" which won the A'Design Award Bronze. This site is a website created for travelers from overseas at the request of a client (a Japanese hotel group company). It is the best example of success that was able to fulfill the client's wish by winning the award at the award outside Japan and getting attention.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

TT : I can't imagine that.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

TT : In commercial design, design is to convey.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

TT : I did a lots and lots and lots of design work. And I did lots and lots and lots of thinking for design.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

TT : Until now, I used to work in Japan, so it would be best if I could work in various countries around the world!

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

TT : Now I'm working on a video. I plan to open a channel on youtube soon.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

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.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

TT : I will interview the client first when the project starts. I can't even think of a concept without knowing the thoughts and feelings of the client.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

TT : Don't add unnecessary things, Don't omit necessary things. Always natural. This is the Japanese Zen philosophy.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

TT : Design sets the trends first, then trends set the designs. In other words, pioneers are always great.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

TT : I read "Daniel Kahneman Thinking, Fast and Slow" over and over again. This book contains much of the essential knowledge of design, such as cognitive psychology and behavioral economics.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

TT : Jimi Hendrix!!! and Sen no rikyu. Sen no rikiyu is a famous tea master during the Azuchi-momoyama period, who invented Wabi-cha,” which became the origin of modern tea ceremony. It is the origin of all Japanese culture.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

TT : It's a great honor to be recognized, but it's just one indicator. And being recognized is a result, not a goal in itself.

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

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. ZICCA DESIGN IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING LONG-LOVED DESIGNS TO MANY USERS AROUND THE WORLD WITH A COMMITMENT TO QUALITY AND UNWAVERING QUALITY IN JAPAN.


Another Japan Yamagata Website

Another Japan Yamagata Website by Tsutomu Tojo

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