AYA CODAMA

Specialized in Packaging Design.

AYA CODAMA

About AYA CODAMA

The ideal of design I aim for is to make things “better” in society and various situations. To design is not to create “design” for decorating a surface beautifully, rather it is to fix your eyes on the essence and search for “the right solution”, “the right answer”. That I think is what design is. To create design to amaze people or to create design to comfort people. You create by thinking “how” and “when”, and “whom to target”. The situation can make a 180degree change depending on the commission. In order to arrive at the best answer, repeated and close discussion about direction of aims with clients is vital. Besides what I mentioned above, “an unforgettable design” is what I regard as essential to my originality. To draw out and enhance a client’s identity in the best way and to make a lasting impression on people, is where Art can display its power. Each designer has their own belief and philosophy, and they have different answers for the same subject. Therefore I believe what makes a better society is that each designer keeps on creating their own “right answer”.

  • Winner of the A' Design Award.
  • Specialized in Packaging Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Packaging
Japanese Sake “KOI” Bottle and Box

Japanese Sake “KOI” Bottle and Box

Packaging Design


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Extended Interview with AYA CODAMA

Could you please tell us about your experience as a designer, artist, architect or creator?
I majored in graphic design at Tokyo Zokei University, where I attended a seminar held by the graphic designer Kan Akita. Following graduation, I worked at the design firm AWATSUJI Design for 7 years, and founded BULLET Inc. in 2013.
How did you become a designer?
I first learned the concept of graphic design from a teacher at the art school I attended to prepare for university. I had been a student who simply liked to draw pictures, but there I realized that design is not something superficial, but to think about the true nature of things. I probably wouldn’t have become a designer if I hadn’t met him.
What are your priorities, technique and style when designing?
I chose to. I thought hard about different options before deciding my first job: I was also offered positions in sales and systems engineering. But getting to know different job areas helped me realize that design was what I really wanted to do, and I made up my mind to learn more about design at a firm whose works I really liked.
Which emotions do you feel when designing?
I work across a wide range of categories, including package design, logo design, CI planning, web design, and book design. I have extensive knowledge on types of paper and printing techniques, but I don’t limit the genres I work in.
What particular aspects of your background shaped you as a designer?
It’s hard to think of myself as a design legend, but my idea of a design legend is someone who can offer a “unique” best solution. I guess it’s important to know what you like and don’t like, and to pursue your own style.
What is your growth path? What are your future plans? What is your dream design project?
A good designer can offer the right solution to a given situation. In addition to that, a great designer can make proposals that reach beyond people’s imaginations.
You are truly successful as a designer, what do you suggest to fellow designers, artists and architects?
I think good design is not just a beautiful “form” but the visualization of a “message”. When a company assigns a designer to a project (for advertisement, packaging, etc.), it is entrusting the designer with the important mission of “conveying” the company’s message.
What is your day to day look like?
It’s actually very hard as a designer to assume that I “had the time,” but I’d like to design some kind of daily item to give to my parents, who might not fully understand what a designer’s job is about.
How do you keep up with latest design trends? To what extent do design trends matter?
Someday I’d like to collaborate with professionals (photographers, copywriters, etc.) I have admired over many years.
How do you know if a product or project is well designed? How do you define good design?
It’s not a secret nor an interesting answer, but I think the key is “not to compromise.”
How do you decide if your design is ready?
There are many, including Kaoru Kasai, Yoshihisa Shirai, Makoto Saito, Tamotsu Yagi, Eiko Ishioka, Masayoshi Kodaira, and Masayoshi Nakajo. I’m encouraged by their way of having their own philosophy and design style.
What is your biggest design work?
The 1964 Tokyo Olympics posters by Yusaku Kamekura. I was a teenager without much understanding of design when I first saw them, but I remember feeling proud to be Japanese. The 1983 HIROSHIMA APPEALS poster by Yusaku Kamekura. Butterflies with different patterns are burning down in this image, which reminded me of each precious life that was lost. It took my breath away. The 2016 HIROSHIMA APPEALS poster by Kaoru Kasai. Its theme is the same as the one above, but the approach is totally different. Simple black and white lines (without dramatized effect) looked like a natural sketch of the people who lived in that era and people who live today. I was at a loss for words.
Who is your favourite designer?
The bottle design for TY NANT mineral water. I came across it in a magazine when I was studying design at an art school to prepare for university. I’ve been a fan of it ever since. The bottle shape directly resembles the flow of water, conveying the water’s clarity and product’s high quality, and even the company’s esprit. The desire to communicate beyond language like this product is the basis of my ideal design.
Would you tell us a bit about your lifestyle and culture?
I think you should have a sense of professionalism and always be curious when seeing, absorbing and digesting things in your mind (the same can probably be said for chefs and doctors). In particular, as design exists in a social context, I think it is important to grasp trends and what people are thinking, and express your response to them in an original way.
Would you tell us more about your work culture and business philosophy?
I’d probably still be doing something creative (maybe creating music or manga).
What are your philanthropic contributions to society as a designer, artist and architect?
I think it is both “a creative activity closely linked to society” and “a way to solve problems”.
What positive experiences you had when you attend the A’ Design Award?
Among my teachers at art school and university, my bosses, and designers of the same generation, especially those who criticized my work (in a supportive way).

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