Brother – Designing, advising and educating

About Brother

Brother manufacturer home office printers, sewing machines and many other products for sale globally. If you visit any reputable office or hobby craft supplier here in the UK you will recognise the Brother brand.

Since 2003 we have worked with their team in Nagoya. They are one of our most valued and successful client relationships and on a human level we genuinely enjoy the projects and spending time with them.

During this period of collaboration with us, Brother have held the no.5 spot amongst Japanese winners of the coveted German IF design award with over 70 awards.

Why (Goal)

Initially the focus of projects with Brother was on understanding user and market needs (USA and EU) and in designing products to respond to these for example; sewing machines, printers and label printers.

As their internal design capability has matured under the guidance of Design Director Yuzo Fukunaga, our project briefs have evolved towards designing collaboratively and providing advice and feedback on their output, and educating their team in good design practice.


How (What we did)

The nature and structure of each project with Brother is always different from the last. However there are some constants in the activities we might complete including :

Video review meetings – before, during and after the project

Research – market, user and staff interviews

Educational lectures – to the 60+ person design team

Immersive work sessions – collaborative in the UK or Japan

Methodology creation – create new ways to solve problems

Advice sessions – review work output and provide advice

What (Outcomes)

Our long relationship with Brother has touched every aspect of design including :

Design – we have successfully completed design projects to influence the creation of sewing machines, printers and label printers.

Research – we have conducted market, user and design research focusing on the US and EU markets.

Advising – as well as every day advice on product output we have been guiding the creation of an interface design strategy for all printing devices, including the creation of implementation guidelines.

Educating – we have been leading educational sessions to teach Brother the fundamentals and more complex aspects of communication design.

You can see Brother project examples here :

Brother – Embroidery user and market research

Brother – Typography 101

Brother – Communications methodology

Brother – User interface strategy

Brother – European research

Brother – Sewing machine

Clients similar to Brother include :

Shiseido – Design advisors