Rakuten Design Lab
A strategic branding organization that positions design at the core of management
In April 2018, the Rakuten Design Lab was launched as a design organization aimed at further strengthening Rakuten's businesses through the power of design. Mr. Kashiwa Sato, who has served as Rakuten's Chief Creative Director (CCD) for the past 15 years, felt that there was a need for an organization that can establish an overall structure for Rakuten's design work. With that in mind, he proposed the establishment of this new design organization and brought it into being. The organization has begun work on resolving various service issues through design, unifying and advancing design quality in Rakuten, and strengthening Rakuten's overall brand power.
Leading brand strategy through design
The areas of design covered by the Rakuten Design Lab extend to various media that foster the Rakuten brand. Under the leadership of Mr. Sato, it strives to shape an even more powerful Rakuten brand through its work of designing the corporate logo as well as more than 150 service and product logos, advertising design, commercials and spatial design as well as review of offline products, and the formulation of brand guidelines, among others. Its mission, which includes promptly reflecting Mr. Sato's feedback into the creative work and developing the brands of each business, is stimulating and makes for an unusual career choice that is also filled with the dynamism of "constantly creating new value," in the words of Mr. Kashiwa Sato.
Based on the theme of maximizing the value of the Rakuten brand, new projects are being launched successively through ideas proposed by members of Rakuten Design Lab, or through co-creation projects with the business divisions. In order to raise awareness of the Rakuten brand and make it familiar to even more people, as well as to sustain their connection to the brand, efforts are being made to close the gap between the brand and people through design. Designers and other relevant parties from the respective Rakuten divisions who are involved in such design production are also engaged in efforts to improve Rakuten's design and enhance branding as they continue to strengthen their creative capabilities. Rakuten is now expanding its efforts to fundamentally pursue design, with Rakuten Design Lab at the heart of these efforts.