Aiming for Creative Team that Evokes Empathy and Excitement. The Journey of a Designer Who is Close to a Space Startup.
In this 20th member interview, Mr. Hayakawa, a Head of Design who is in charge of all the creative processes at WARPSPACE, comes up. He has been a partner of WARPSPACE since its early days while also starting his own design production company, tells us about his involvement in the space industry from a designer’s point of view.
Encounter with a Unique Startup.
－How did you and WARPSPACE meet?
I studied graphic design at an Art University in Nagoya, and after graduating, I worked as a web / graphic designer in Tokyo before starting a design production company (Hakbee Lanka Inc.) with a friend in Nagoya 7 years ago.
I happened to be introduced to the CEO of WARPSPACE, Mr. Tsunemachi, through a mutual acquaintance, and this is how our relationship started that leads us to today.
It was the website design for our 2018 event “WARP STATION” and the creative for the event passports sent to participants that led us to this point in our relationship.
I had a lot of fun working with a startup that had just launched, holding a festival deep in the mountains, and thinking what an interesting thing for a startup to do. Looking back on it now, it was a great event, with everyone sitting around a campfire, watching satellite mocks, and listening to music.
The creativity there resonated with Mr. Tsunemachi, and I ended up taking on the creative duties for WARPSPACE.
－You have been active as a designer. What kind of image did you have of space?
I have always been very fond of space. When I was in elementary school, I was first exposed to the world of Western movies and science fiction through “Star Wars.” I was fascinated by how cool and exciting it was, and from there I fell in love with space. After that, I became a boy who looked forward to reading Newton magazine at the dentist. I didn’t understand it at all, but I enjoyed just looking at it.
Creative to visualize the business and create empathy and excitement.
－We recently released WARPSPACE’s next satellite, “LEIHO,” and you designed the creative for it as well.
－How was this design created?
First of all, I was overwhelmed by the strength of the word “LEIHO” that came from the calligrapher “Ms.Kisyuu ”. From there, I swung the image to harmony, and without hesitation, I was led to this visual.
I used vermilion, which evokes the setting sun and traditional Japanese colors, and because it would have looked too Japanese by itself, I accentuated it with a circle, the limit of shapes, in ruled lines to create a stylish impression. The background of the universe is designed to look like the iris of an eye, to give cohesion to the many elements and draw the eye to the center of the image.
－The inclusion of Mt. Tsukuba, the “LEIHO” is also impressive!
－In addition to the release of LEIHO, we have most recently renewed CIVI. How was it working on the new look of WARPSPACE?
Usually, there is a lot of work with agencies and other intermediaries, but for WARPSPACE, we caught the elements they were looking for through interviews with Mr. Tsunemachi and all the members of the team. It was a great pleasure for me to talk directly and carefully with the client and work together to create something together. I secretly wish I could join the company now.
Please take a look at this special site to see what kind of renewal we have done.
－Please tell us about any important points you considered in the creation of the website.
I think it is important for all businesses, not just startups, to maintain the quality of visual elements (web, graphics, products, etc.) in various areas and to raise them to a certain level.
I see it as my job to “make the best first impression of WARPSPACE.”
I want to create something that raises expectations the moment people see it.
Furthermore, when creating something, I give special priority to creating something that raises the spirits of the members.
This project, which will be realized after several years on the other side of the outer space, is a long-legged project with no clear future in a way. So we visualize the whole business and make people sympathize and get excited. I believe that design can play a role in motivating people to feel that they are taking on such a cool challenge.
Aiming for a design that leaps.
－I feel that design is becoming more and more important in the space industry these days, with SpaceX and others at the top of the list.
That’s right. That coolness is on another level.
The interior design of the Crew Dragon, as well as the UI/UX of the panels that only astronauts would touch, have been well designed. I think this is the result of prioritizing ease of use, but I think this is an example that shows the importance of inner design and branding, not just what catches the eye of many people.
If inner branding enhances the company’s philosophy, sense of trust, and brand power, and if the creativity is consistent, it will certainly lead to a positive reputation both internally and externally. I think this concept has been gradually spreading recently. As a designer, I am very happy about this.
－Is there anything you would like to achieve through WARPSPACE’s creativity in the future?
I am attracted to the fact that WARPSPACE is “doing something cool but also friendly,” and I would like to aim to express that the company is “doing something crazy and interesting.”
The tote bag we recently produced for an international exhibition was a perfect example of this stance.
The direction of the project combines Japanese elements and WARPSPACE’s business. The idea was to have a durable bag that would be in demand at exhibitions where people would be carrying a lot of materials, which led to the creation of what is probably the only “satellite x Ukiyoe” tote bag. This stuck with people overseas and became very popular.
－We heard that many people came to our booth to get a bag.
This kind of challenge to create something that no one has ever done before is only possible with the “Leap” mindset, and it is also a moment when the creators are fired up to “create something that no one has ever imagined.
We will continue to take on the challenge of creating something unique to WARPSPACE in order to attract even more attention not only in Japan but also from around the world and to promote our business!