Interview/Article by Momoka Itou (vi)
Photography by Pon Satou
A skilled designer, master of the graphics tablet!
Until a couple of years ago, you could manage your tasks by simply talking to people. However, as the number of staff increased, it became harder and harder to grasp what everyone is thinking and what everyone is doing... Actually, there are many smaller offices in the otaku world. Moreover, when it comes to design what's mostly required is to be able to "grasp people's hearts", a competence that largely depends on personal sense and talent. But on the other hand, there are also things that individuals cannot accomplish, while teams can. That's why I think task management and meetings are as important as the design job itself.
Until some time ago I used to listen to my all-time-favorite alternative rock and techno music, but now I edit a special playlist every time and just let it flow endlessly as I work. To explore the views of a particular creator, I often ask things like "if you could choose a soundtrack for this artwork, what would it be?". For example, for the cover of Margaret that I'm going to introduce later, I was listening to Kana Nishino. When I heard the phrase "Aitakute furueru", I thought "oh, so this is that famous song..."
The cover design for manga magazines requires flexibility!
During the first meeting, we discussed about what kind of magazine we wanted Margaret to be from now on. On the clients' side there were different kinds of people, from the ones with their own clear vision to the ones that were ready to discuss ideas with the designers. The editor-in-chief of Margaret was one of the former, and had strong feelings about what he would like to do with the magazine in the future. There was nothing I could say, so I just sat down and listened. After I listened, I suggested something, you know, as a designer. We started from there and settled detail after detail. Almost two months and a half went by between the first meeting and the submission of the cover: the first month was entirely dedicated to meetings and discussions, while the second month was all about design.
This is how the magic happens!
Bishoujo love! What are the preferences of a "Moe Pig" designer?
My latest favorite is Makinas, from Moji-Waku Kenkyuu. As a designer, I'm always happy when I can feature in my work a font that is not yet overused in the same field.
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If there's a job only you can do, you've got to look for it yourself!
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Well then, till next time!