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Behind the Scenes with Nikon’s Industrial Design Team



Designing a camera from start to finish takes a lot of work by a lot of talented people. What begins as brainstorming and sticky notes must be turned into sketches, 3D renderings, and physical products. Even the UI has to be meticulously planned so that it is intuitive, speedy and responsive.

At Nikon, there is one overall department that handles all of these tasks: The Industrial Design Department. And the company just recently released a great behind the scenes video that walks you through the Nikon design process from sketch to finish.


The design department is split into two teams: the product design team and the graphics design team. The product design team kicks things off by taking a look at product road maps and drafting ideas that feature the design elements they believe consumers are looking for. Once they have a good idea, they begin to sketch.

Those sketches, once finished, are then given to the 3D design members within the product design team to mock up as realistically as possible. Even though they won’t be functional, the 3D-printed prototypes that the product design team initially produces must look and feel like the final product.



On the other side of things we have the graphics design team, which is in charge of both the user interface and the logo design for all of the Nikon products. It works much the same way: with meetings and brainstorming sessions that turn into flowcharts and, ultimately, testable versions of the UI that they can run through.

Logo design is the cherry on top, so to speak. Although it won’t have to do with the camera’s functionality in any way, the Nikon graphics design team is adamant that their logos conjure up an image of the product, and visa versa. Everything from the box the camera comes in to the Nikon logo itself must be dripping with the Nikon brand.



Here’s the video (you can also find it over on Nikon’s website):

Whether you’re a Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic, or whomever fanboy follower, it’s interesting to see the kind of work that goes into designing a camera that may or may not be received all that well by the general and/or professional market once it’s out.

Whatever your opinion of Nikon, it’s at least clear that the company’s design team takes their job very seriously. “Design is the first thing about our brand that users feel familiar with,” says Industrial Design GM Hiroshi Kobayashi. “We are committed to embodying our dreams in our products, and communicating them in our design.”

(via Nikon Rumors)