BusinessWeek has a nice piece up about the guy behind the guy, Naoto Fukasawa, the designer whose work has influenced countless major company’s product designs, including Jonathan Ive over at Apple. The article covers a wide range, running info about Fukasawa’s personal history, what products he’s had his touch in, a short bit of reviewing of his new book from Phaidon and a handful of quotes by people who look to his work for that big push of inspiration. If you don’t know his name, this should serve as a good primer and get you in place to start using his work for the jumping off point for your own. Here’s some:
His influence among the current generation of industrial designers is unmistakable. Lunar Design‘s Principal and Director of Design Ken Wood, for example, says Fukasawa’s work inspired his team when designing the Apple PowerBook 100, released in 1993; Smart Design‘s Director of Insights and Strategy Tim Wallack says Fukasawa’s focus on simplicity and ease-of-use influenced designers at his firm when working on the Photosmart 375 printer for Hewlett-Packard, which the company says outsold its expectations fivefold after it was launched in 2004.