Aiming for Vision 2030 together with the entire company

2023.3.30 | Design Work


To be a company that continues to be valued by society, it is important to set high goals and for the whole company to move forward as a team. This is also where the power of design comes into play. Nikon's design is deeply intertwined with management and serves a vital role in enhancing the brand value of Nikon.

Becoming a key company in a human-machine co-creating society by 2030

By 2030, Nikon will be a key technology solutions company in a global society where humans and machines co-create seamlessly. This is the vision Nikon has set for the future. This is based on the concept of working back from our future vision to find effective ways to realize it, and is closely related to the formulation of the company's medium to long-term plan.


How will society change? What kind of value should Nikon provide utilizing its optical and precision technologies that have been developed over more than 100 years? After extensive discussions about such topics among many staff members including designers and the management team, Nikon released its Medium-Term Management Plan in April 2022.

For Nikon to head towards new fields, it is essential to encourage a large number of staff members to unite their minds and bring together diverse technologies and know-how. Design can help to widely communicate this vision and empathize with it.

Communication designer Miho Hara has this to say: "When I first heard about this, I imagined that there would be a lot of obstacles to overcome. But being able to think of ways to communicate while directly speaking with the management team is a job that only in-house designers are able to do. We will not disregard the thoughts of the management team and the employees. We wanted to express in a way that can only be accomplished by us as Nikon employees while respecting the ideas of all parties".

A future realized beyond the plan


In order to make people more familiar with our goal of 'being a key technology solutions company in a global society where humans and machines co-create seamlessly in 2030', we have to start by digging deep into the details of what does a 'human-machine co-creating' world look like and what can be realized by such co-creation.

Junichi Kawasaki of the Corporate Branding Group explains what lies behind the phrase 'humans and machines co-create'.
"We talked about this throughout our extensive discussions with the management team. We are not aiming for a society where machines handle everything for people nor have control over humans. The evolution of machines enables human to progress further, to concentrate more on creative work. Working hand-in-hand with machines and to pursue creation together is the future that Nikon wants to realize."


After various discussions, a communication concept of 'expanding future options' was decided upon to be used to represent this idea.
"We wanted to create limitless options to accommodate diverse values. We wished to create a place where imagination has no boundaries and fresh ideas and concepts are born without any restrictions. We came up with this phrase, which reflects not only Nikon's evolution into new directions, but an image of a sustainable society made possible by Nikon," said Takeo Fuwa, who is leading the future-driven design initiative.

This is how concepts focusing not just on the technologies themselves, but also on the users of them, are created.

Drawing a new relationship between humans and machines


Once the concept is completed, it is time to give it a concrete form.
Which method is best suited to depict the future, a world that has not yet arrived? If we draw it abstractly, we have more room for imagination, but it would then be difficult to perceive how it is connected to physical reality. You can also portray it concretely as an extension of what we already have currently, but this may not be enough to trigger innovation.


Various possibilities were explored with Nippon Design Center, a production company collaborated with from the concept-making to the output. Illustration was chosen as the direction of expressing the world that Nikon wants to realize along with its staff.

"When I saw the completed illustration, I felt that it was a way of expression that Nikon had never tried before. Nikon's stance of tackling new areas while valuing the technologies it has built up over the years, its aspirations as a company, as well as a human and machine co-creating society. I think that these ideas were effectively conveyed through not only the contents of the illustration, but also through the style of both the digital and analog aspects," explained communication designer, Masayuki Ashikawa.


The finished illustration was used in various productions, such as a concept book (PDF:1.869 KB), websiteOpen in a new window, company posters, signage and billboards at Shinagawa Station in Tokyo. While listening to the opinions of staff who have actually seen it, the next step has begun.

"The 'Vision 2030' we have is important to those that are involved in manufacturing. We went to interview employees to understand how they felt about their roles. It was very meaningful to hear the positive comments and points that could be improved on as well," said UI Designer, Miyako Yamaguchi.

To gain understanding and to resonate with everyone, every possible way is explored. It may seem like a very trivial thing to do, but creating these opportunities will lead to Nikon's future.

Creators' voices

Creative Director and Copywriter of Nippon Design Center
Hayato Iizuka

I sometimes wonder if our work will one day be replaced by machines as well. However, there are always things that only humans can do. Perhaps we need to refine our unique qualities and live in harmony with machines. I think I was able to reflect this in my work, and it was a new experience for me to work on a project that also involves such an important aspect of the company. I was very honored to be a part of it.

Copywriter of Nippon Design Center
Yumi Sato

I particularly empathize with the management plan in the healthcare area, which is to 'cure currently incurable illnesses'. Considering my own experience, I feel that 'being cured from an illness' is something that has an impact that will drastically change one's identity. Nikon's technology will open up a new future for people. I wanted to contribute to such possibilities and hope.

Mizuki Miyaoka

I believe that what attracts the viewer is not only the beauty of the work, but also the presence of 'human errors' such as smudging, fading, blurring, and so on. With this in mind, I used a manga comic pen to draw the main lines and finished it off digitally. I think this illustration was produced from the resonation of my daily thoughts and Nikon's ideas.


Future challenges, 'designs for brand building'


What are people thinking and what do they really want, deep in their hearts? It is the mission of designers to figure this out and translate it into a form of expression. This ability is not only limited to product development but is also utilized in 'management'.

"In order to ensure that the Nikon brand is trusted, it is important to communicate with people outside of the company. However, I think it is even more important to communicate internally. I believe that a company's value is enhanced when it is clear what it wants to be and what it wants to do," says Junichi Kawasaki.

"If all employees are interested in, understand, and empathize with Nikon's policies, the power of each individual will be multiplied, and the company will be able to unleash even greater capabilities. The concept book and website are just the beginning. I would like to communicate the thoughts of our employees while continuously putting in efforts through introducing the process of realization, such as via actual technologies and initiatives.

These challenges have just begun. Nikon will continue to use the power of design to communicate its message in a way that people both inside and outside the company can relate to. Nikon will also bring together various ideas and technologies to realize a better society through the co-creation of people and machines. The challenge of Nikon Design will continue.

Thoughts of the project members


Junichi Kawasaki
Corporate Branding Group

In the process of creating the works, we ourselves had a good opportunity to think about what Nikon's strengths are. During our discussions, a diverse range of opinions surfaced. We also realized that the phrase 'humans and machines co-creating' can be interpreted in so many different ways. We hope to gradually unify the mindset of the entire company as we communicate the understanding we have gained through our discussions within the company.


Takeo Fuwa
Experience Design Group

What I am usually working on is the realization of the future of society and technology through the power of design. I believe that design has the ability to change people's values and behavior in the future for the better, and I would be happy if this project has even a small positive impact on the mindsets of our employees. Of course, changing people's thoughts is not an easy task. That is why we would like to continue discussing and deepening our beliefs together about the future of 'Vision 2030'.


Miho Hara
Communication Design Group

I have been involved in several management-related projects. Of these, I think this project is one in which I was particularly able to learn a lot. What was especially important to me was to 'communicate carefully'. It is difficult to express something in a way that is completely satisfactory to various people in all kinds of different positions, but that is how I tried to communicate while keeping in mind the backgrounds of each person. This project has just begun, but I believe that we have created something that has caught the attention of people's hearts.


Masayuki Ashikawa
Communication Design Group

As part of my work, I usually conduct interviews with people involved in development, and I have always been impressed by Nikon. Nikon is a company with a relatively large number of employees, so even though they are in the same company, it is possible for people to be unaware of the work of others. I hope that by continuing to communicate the appeal of Nikon, we can make our employees even prouder of their company and help people outside the company see the potential of Nikon.


Miyako Yamaguchi
UI & Interaction Design Group

'Vision 2030' was set forth in Nikon's Medium-Term Management Plan, but because it communicates the company's position to both internal and external parties, it tends to be difficult to understand. It is understandable that the details tend to be something that you might just skim over. So, while asking honest opinions from employees, we aimed to create something that would be more relatable to them, even if only slightly. While this production alone will not solve all these issues, it is a small step to take along this path. I think it is very important to continue to communicate the vision of Nikon's goals.