In this series of “The Life of a Designer,” we ask DRAFT designers involved in the development of D-BROS products about their daily lives, in a Q&A format. In their answers to our simple questions, their daily lives are revealed. We talked to Mr. Kazuya Iwanaga for the fifth volume in this series.

–In this fifth volume, we would like to talk to Mr. Kazuya Iwanaga who works on D-BROS’s Creator’s Diary and Typeface Calendar. Thank you for your time.

Iwanaga: Thank you too.

–Let’s begin. What do you do without fail when you first arrive at the office in the morning?

Iwanaga: I eat something sweet (laughs). I really like sweet things. I pass by the convenience store first to get coffee and something sweet for my breakfast.

–What’s your desk like?

Iwanaga: Hmm, what is it like? I feel bothered if my desk’s messy, so there’s really not much on it. I always have my planner and notebooks on my desk. I only keep things to the minimum – the moment I decide that something’s not needed, it goes into the shredder.


–What drink do you have on hand while you’re working?

Iwanaga: Tea, or cola. In the morning, I drink the coffee that I’ve bought, then after lunch I buy tea or cola. Those are the drinks that I always buy – it’s the same every time.

–What’s your desktop wallpaper?

Iwanaga: I collect all kinds of images that intrigue me, but not necessarily for reference. Things that aren’t even “designed” like scenery. I have a folder for all these images, and from this folder I pick one each month. My wallpaper now is an image of some country’s stamp. But I’m going to change it soon.

–What do you do when you take a breather at work?

Iwanaga: Um, I don’t really take breathers at work.

–Do you use a notebook at work?

Iwanaga: I’ve been using notebooks that I’ve created for the D-BROS store in Shinagawa. There are four colors, and I use all of them. After I use a pink one, I choose another color until I’ve used up all four colors. When the pages are about to run out, I go to the Shinagawa store to buy more. I use my notebooks not for taking down notes during meetings, but for my own ideas.

–So those are the notebooks that you’ve created?

Iwanaga: Yes. That’s why they’re easy to use. That’s because I’ve created something that I wanted to make (laughs).


–What do you always keep in mind while working?

Iwanaga: Hmm, I wonder. Doing things with care. I’m the type who tends to find certain things bothersome, so the things that I do first are the bothersome ones, but I do them with care.

–What are you reading now?

Iwanaga: “Kinpika,” a book by Jiro Asada which was recommended by Mr. Miyata. I think it’s been turned into a TV drama by WOWOW. I read books that are recommended to me, but I don’t really read on my own volition, so I don’t really have a favorite author. But sometimes when I see a movie that was originally a book, I read the book. If I read the book first then watch the movie, I’d think, “Oh, that scene in the book isn’t in the movie,” so I always watch the movie first.

–What kind of music do you like?

Iwanaga: J-POP from a little while back – from the 80s and 90s. I don’t really like anyone in particular, but I like the pop-ish vibe of those eras. I listen to a lot of recent songs, but I often go back to old songs. Songs by Tatsuro Yamashita, Yuzo Kayama, Happy End, Akira Fuse. I don’t have any particular genre – I really listen to all kinds of music.

–Whom do you respect?

Iwanaga: The person that immediately comes to mind is the bureaucrat and businessman Jiro Shirasu. He was cool. His entire being was cool.

–What places in Tokyo do you like?

Iwanaga: Gakugei Daigaku. It’s just right. It’s not super crowded so it’s easy to move around and get into places so I really like it.

–When do ideas come to you?

Iwanaga: I come up with ideas day and night.

–I heard that you also come up with ideas in your sleep.

Iwanaga: I have special abilities (laughs). When I’m pushed to the limit, I come up with ideas while I’m asleep. Even when I was a student, I could study in my sleep. But not always, just sometimes. When I first joined this company, I was so busy that I would sleep while I was working. There were lots of times when I would dream that the job’s done, but when I woke up, of course the job’s not done and I would think, “But I’ve just finished the job.”

–So you finish the job in your dream when you wake up?

Iwanaga: Yes. But doing it while I’m awake is much faster because I’ve already done it in my dream! But there are times when all goes well, and there are times that they don’t.

–What made you become a designer?

Iwanaga: My hometown is in a rural area, so there weren’t any designers there at all. But sometimes, my mother would receive ads in the mail for clothing and sales. When I said that I wanted to make such ads, I heard of the occupation “designer,” and that’s where it started.

–Design-wise, what kinds of things would you like to work on in the future?

Iwanaga: Things that are accessible. More than advertisements, I’m more attracted to products. I’d like to make things that people can touch and buy – things that people have on hand.

–So, developing D-BROS products is fun too?

Iwanaga: Yes, D-BROS is close to what I want to do. If it’s something within the range of what I can do, I’d like to try my hand at developing as many D-BROS products as I can.

▼D-BROS products that Mr. Iwanaga has worked on
diary-954x1024 typeface-988x1024

–Has anything that Mr. Miyata said left an impression on you?

Iwanaga: There are some…hmm. Something that he said recently that left an impression on me was that I overthink things. It’s strange to say that relatively, I haven’t been really thinking of things up until this point, because a big part of what I’ve done was done through momentum. But when I started doing all kinds of things, he said that my left brain is working more than my right brain, which, come to think of it, is true.

–Lastly, can you recommend a nice place for lunch in Ebisu?

Iwanaga: Usually, I only go to soba noodle places, so I recommend Shogetsuan. I think I eat soba about three times a week. I’ve realized that soba is indeed delicious, and after all this time, I’m hooked.


–Thank you!

Kazuya Iwanaga
Born 1985 in Nagasaki Japan.Graduated from Tama Art University.In 2009, Joined Draft co,ltd.

▼Archived designer blog posts by Kazuya Iwanaga
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Finished Product)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (The Fore Edge)
Creator’s Diary 2017: From Start to Finish (Useful Information)
Creator’s Diary: From Start to Finish (Completed Version)
CREATOR’S DIARY: From Start to Finish (Main Body)

▼”The Life of a Designer” archives
Vol. 1: Mr. Kouta Sugiyama
Vol. 2: Ms. Asako Koyama
Vol. 3: Mr. Yuichiro Katsume
Vol. 4: Ms. Aya Iida

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▼You can purchase a 2017 CALENDAR at the D-BROS WEB STORE.

▼You can purchase a 2017 DIARY at the D-BROS WEB STORE.