Visual Communications Designer

Tokyo, Japan

In a nutshell:

We are seeking a Visual Communications Designer to join our Tokyo studio. We are looking for an individual with strong skills and passion for visual design across different media: our communications designers routinely work on projects that spread across print, packaging and brand identity to projects for screens, devices, and spaces.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

The Visual Communication design team creates the largest impact on clients where they can translate complex ideas and concepts into compelling human-centered designs and stories. Visual Communications Designers bring ideas to life that inspire, engage and motivate our design teams, our clients and the end users.

Why IDEO Tokyo?

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help enable change in Japan through design and creativity. As part of a small studio that is still growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a non-rules based environment of creativity and innovation.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • A strong portfolio demonstrating an elevated sense of design that includes color, visual hierarchy, and typography: you know the difference between “good” and “great” and are able to work through team dynamics, clients and timelines to deliver excellent design.
  • User-centered perspective: You understand and can articulate a human-centered approach to design and be comfortable going out into the world for inspiration.
  • Team skills: You work best in a participatory, team-based environment. You support and inspire teams through collaboration as well as direction, vision, and planning of all aspects of visual deliverables.
  • Communication skills: You have strong verbal and visual presentation skills, ideally in both English and Japanese. You demonstrate a clear “point‐of‐view” relating to the design. You understand the value of design and brand within a business context.
  • Prototyping skills: You are ready to learn from failure, embrace an iterative process and you understand that success comes sooner with trial and error. You have experience in creating both low and high fidelity design deliverables for print and screen.
  • Consulting chops: You should feel comfortable throughout all phases of a project, from translating verbal ideas into visual concepts, through design development and refinement, to creating production-ready artwork.
  • Openness: Designers need to be flexible and open-minded, especially when working with our small collective of designers, where each of us are expected to contribute and collaborate creatively. Successful candidates are optimistic, generative, and are open to new ideas and ways of working.

Minimum Requirements and Qualifications:

  • Strong bilingual communication skills in both English and Japanese.
  • Minimum of Bachelor’s degree education in Graphic Design, New Media, or professional equivalent.
  • At least three years of experience in a design studio or creative consultancy.
  • Fluency with Adobe Creative Suite, Google workspace (e.g Google slides), video/audio editing software and other design tools.
  • Be self-directed toward excellent work outcomes, comfort level in ambiguous, non-rules based environments.
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogues and information.
  • Ability to travel occasionally.

Some previous projects to check out:

Designing a Brand to Scale Big

Empowering Women to Prevent HIV

Sun Metalon: Imagining the Future of Metal 3D printing 

Alight: Rebranding for an American Refugee Committee

Kinmi Sake: Brand identity & Package Design (in Japanese only)

Designing the Future of the Sky  (in Japanese only)

Goldwin: Articulating the concept for an Urban Lifestyle Apparel Brand (in Japanese only)

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard, but we also craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in both the design process and your career.

Pop quiz:

Send us a sample* of something that’s good, and send us a sample of something that’s great.

*Not something you created, and no explanation needed.

Application instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter + pop quiz answer, and your portfolio*. 

*Your portfolio should include at least 4 examples of work-related projects and please highlight your contribution in the process of developing the design or project.


IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.


Check out Inside Scoop to get the low-down.

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and in the world.

Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

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