Bruna Imai talks love of graphic design and finding inspiration


Bruna Imai used to be the typical introverted girl that liked to read books, watch TV quietly and always loved to draw. She credits her childhood to forming her artistic mind. She visited many countries while growing up, and the time she spent in Japan changed her life, developing her “design vocabulary,” as she puts it. She believes that the cultural shock of moving to Brazil from Japan enhanced her perception about the design of everything. She moved to a developing country from a developed country, and the lack of good design in some fields, or good but different design in other fields in life made her always compare situations and think about it. “Why” and “How” are powerful worlds in the creative field and Imai understands this. She constantly was conscious of how design influences daily life and found potential fuel for her creativity. To this day, she does just the same, and it has led her to a prosperous career as an internationally sought-after graphic designer.

“Graphic design is all about communication, and the world is starting to realize the importance of good communication. Any field needs to work with communication, and I feel like there are endless possibilities to work as a graphic designer. As same as communication is always evolving, there are still new possibilities arising in design,” she said.

Imai has made her mark around the world. In 2016, she worked on the FIFA Women's World Cup on FOX "History of the World Cup" which was recognized at the PromaxBDA North America Promotion, Marketing and Design Awards 2016. The same occurred with her work on IFC’s “No Brainer” commercial series, and SYFY’s “Veteran’s Day” campaign. She also created the BassAwards Festival Open in 2013, which was an Official Selection at Annecy Festival and Anima Mundi 2014.

“I like the freedom a designer has to choose their field, but also the physical freedom the profession offers. For instance, a dentist needs to settle down in one place to build his clinic and to get clients, and usually, the license is only valid in the country. However, most of the designers don’t need a license and can work anywhere in the world, from anywhere with reliable internet connection, with just a few assets. I love this freedom to make decisions,” said Imai.

Most of Imai’s most impressive accolades came when working at State Design. However, not only does she work for the company, but also with the company, as she was chosen by the owner and director of State, Marcel Ziul, to create the company’s statement. The video project was kind of a business card for the studio to the motion graphics field, and Imai felt honored to be part of “the face” of the studio.

This project was done by State Design to celebrate its third year with a new space, new website and this animated self-promo piece showcasing the company’s diverse range of talents and extolling their boutique values. Imai was responsible for all 2D designs in the project. She made seven of the total of 12 layouts, working on a variety of styles and languages, showing that the studio can comfortably traverse between the worlds of advertising, broadcast, sports and beyond. When Imai started, there was no script, so she had the freedom to choose the exact style she thought would work. Her instincts were spot on. The project was aired online in 2015. It received a Silver in one category of PromaxBDA and was posted in a variety of famous sites in the design field, such as Stash and Motionographer. In addition to all of this, thanks to this project, State Design received a lot of interview requests from creative sites.

“I was very happy with the reaction among motion graphics professionals knowing that we did something different in the market,” said Imai.

Imai is known in the design world for her versatility in techniques and style. She is both a graphic designer and illustrator, with a vast amount of knowledge in animation techniques, storytelling, and direction. Such comprehension of the visual languages allows her to navigate between many styles, making her flexible to use the most appropriate visual approach to each project’s storytelling and budget. This was essential to the success of the “State Statement.”

The objective of this project was to showcase the company’s diverse range of talents and extol their boutique values showing that the studio can comfortably traverse between the worlds of advertising, broadcast, sports and beyond. Imai therefore needed to make designs in different styles and techniques to have the feeling that different professionals associated with State executed it. The results were stunning.

“It was nice to have the opportunity to be part of a project that was allowed to push design boundaries and enter into the field of experimentation. A project with such freedom is very rare, and ironically, this lack of boundaries became a challenge because I was not used to it. At least for me, at the time, it was easier to create something when there were some limiting conditions than an unlimited blank canvas. To exemplify, for me it was more comfortable to solve a puzzle with pieces I already have in hand than create the pieces by myself. Also, it was nice to see how the animators took my designs and animated them,” she concluded.

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