Being ‘Glocal (Global + Local)’: That's What We Value!
~Arc Communications Joins the E Commerce for Asia Alliance (ECAA)~

Happy New Year! I wonder what this year is going to bring to us all.

I have a feeling that 2010 will be bringing Arc Communications even more work aimed at that mega market, China. I suppose it comes as no surprise considering that we promote GLOBAL business communication from both a ‘verbal’ and a ‘visual’ perspective, but unfortunately, it is also a harsh reminder of just how lackluster the Japanese economy is right now. We want to see the LOCAL (Japanese) business be an important part of our GLOBAL services, too.

In order to respond to ever-increasing demand in China, Arc Communications joined the E Commerce for Asia Alliance (ECAA), which began providing one-stop services for cultivating the Chinese e-commerce market.

Finally, as mentioned in the last issue of our paper-based newsletter, we have renewed our logo as part of the revision of our corporate and visual identities with ‘glocal’ services in mind.
We would be honored if you could provide us with any comments you may have.

We hope that 2010 will be a wonderful and prosperous year for everyone.

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

Here is a look at some of Arc Communications' services.

[Translation] Translation services for 40 major languages (including Asian, European, Northern European and Eastern European languages)
Arc Communications has a strong track record of providing coherent production services for website, manual and comic book translations, inclusive of desktop publishing and localize content in consideration of the target market by performing local cultural checks. We offer a powerful backup for your company's overseas operations, providing the best solutions for translations from Japanese and English into multiple languages. More Details here
[Web] Multiple-language websites are now the norm?!
Arc Communications receives many orders from its clients for the production of multiple-language websites, and we use our wide-ranging accumulated know-how to respond to customer needs. Creating multiple-language websites entails a lot more than just translation! Look here to find out more. More Details here
[Graphic Design] The “arc graphics” website opens
From corporate brochures and product pamphlets to the web—today, development into various media is a must in corporate communications. When handling corporate multimedia designs we at Arc Communications work to unify a company's brand image and reinforce its communication capabilities. Experience the combination of convenient one-stop services and exceptional design. More Details here(Japanese only)
[Temporary Employment and Referral] The dispatch of temporary staff skilled in the web and the English language
The network Arc Communications has cultivated through its translation services and website planning & design services enables the dispatch of temporary staff members who have skills to match customer's specialized needs. We also cater to onsite business process outsourcing needs, such as the dispatch of translation teams for auditing requirements and production teams for external newsletters. More Details here
[Interpretation] Going beyond simple communication to become a promoter of mutual understanding
Arc Communications is highly regarded for dispatching business-minded professional interpreters.
Interpreters with abundant and specialized knowledge accurately comprehend the original language and communicate it appropriately. Our interpreters do not simply transpose words in one language to another language. Rather, they understand the nuance and context contained in spoken words and express them in another language to provide more than just simple communication—they help channel the conversation into mutual understanding.

Please call on us if you require interpreters for needs such as visiting VIPs, seminars, training sessions and meetings with overseas bases. More Details here
Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

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Translator of the Year

Arc's Translation/Localization division has awarded the following translators with thanks and respect for their outstanding work during the past year.

Gold prize  Mr. Reed M. Peterson Silver prize  Ms. Yoko Naito Bronze prize  Mr. John Paul Cole

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our many other translators for their continued cooperation and dedication. Their passion for learning and sense of responsibility often awes our project coordinators. We look forward to another year of working with our excellent team of partners.

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

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Arc Communications Staff Interview #02: Koichi Ogawa

Some may say that Koichi Ogawa, who leads the Arc Communications design team as art director, has an ‘artsy’ designer's look. However, he is without doubt a talented designer who contributes to the enhancement of Arc Communications' design capabilities through his sensitive, sophisticated works. Koichi Ogawa, who is in charge of a wide range of design fields – from graphic design and the web to corporate visual identities – is always of the mind of supporting clients through his design skills.

Koichi Ogawa

Designs provide added value to a company. The joy of designing is creating and being recognized for that added value.

Thoughts on Commercial Design

Since I first began designing, I have always focused on so-called ‘commercial design;’ that is, creating designs for a client. I am interested in using the power of design to make things already in existence or themes even more fabulous or cool and to communicate them in an even more functional and easy-to-understand manner.

This can be traced back to how I got into the world of design in the first place. I was originally involved in the design of electronic circuits at a certain company, and my life had nothing to do with a graphic designer's world-view. I think I did have my share of recognition as a designer of electronic circuits, such as through the development of the smallest circuits in Japan. However, it was a nine-to-five job, and there was not much stimulus in my life. In looking back, I think that I may have been looking for a new way of life.

It was around that time that my company decided to make a catalog of its products, and it was then that I came into contact with a graphic designer for the first time in my life. He dashingly appeared at a meeting dressed in casual attire, listened to everyone's opinions and created designs from there. I was totally struck by his image.

I had a fixed idea that ‘designers’ were people with an artist's temperament who were seeking ways to express things from within. Finding out about the job of ‘commercial design,’ which was so different from my preconception of design, was a wakeup call for me. I had a vague feeling that I liked to draw things or make designs, but it wasn't as if I had an overflowing passion for artistic expression (laughs). But this encounter with commercial design made me think, “Hey, so this must be what I've been looking for! This is what I want to do.” To tell you the truth, the more I was in contact with this particular designer, the more I thought, “Huh? I think I could do this better!“ Cocky of me, I'm sure; I felt a certain confidence even before I did anything (laughs).

I couldn't think of anything else after that, and so I quit my job and enrolled in a school, and before I knew it, I had become a graphic designer (laughs).

Design Is About Personal Preferences?

People who don't say much when difficult concepts about designs are being discussed – such as this is a design that I like or I don't like this design – can't stop talking when it comes to actual designs that result from the earlier discussion. That is something that I like about the world of design. In terms of my job, however, I am attentive to ensuring that a design is not judged solely based on a customer's likes or dislikes.

Partly because I was involved in designing circuits before I became a graphic designer, I don't want to design something without having a reason behind that design—in other words, designing something a certain way just because it looks good. I always think that when, for example, I am creating a layout, there should be a reason or necessity for something being placed in a particular spot and of being a particular size, whether it be because that layout is the most effective or the most beautiful. For this reason, I try to have our customers understand the intent and key points of a design after which I will listen to their opinions, including their likes and dislikes, and improve on the design.

From my experience of meeting with clients, I can say that the intentions of a client can be grasped from meetings or properly carried out briefings regarding production. That makes the listening capabilities of our staff members also very important, so I ask, please do that part well, okay? (laughs)

It seems easy for customers to understand there being reasons for a design. They often trust us because they like the fact that we explain the reasons, so I would like to keep doing that.

The Arc Communications Logo Is About Subtraction

‘Addition’ and ‘subtraction’ is often talked about when speaking about graphic design. The more experience I accumulate, the more I have personally focused on the ‘subtraction’ type of minimal design—the effective communication of intent by composing what I want to express using the bare minimum of elements.

The production of the Arc Communications logo was exactly that. I devised many different designs in an effort to make it as stylish and fantastic as possible, but none of them felt right. So, what I did was go back to the basics, and the basics were the words ‘integrity, enjoyment and newness’ that is often mentioned by Mariko Ohsato, our president. Now these are straightforward, ordinary words, however they point to the high road and are, at the same time, quite sincere. I came to the conclusion that it was important to have our logo express this sincerity point blank and say to anyone who saw it, “We are a sincere company.” The outcome of this was our new logo.

I have to admit that there were a lot of things that went on, including the fact that our company name is fairly long, which didn't make designing the logo easy. (laughs) But I am personally satisfied because it was the result of ‘adding’ a whole lot to the design before ‘subtracting’ many elements, reducing it to virtually nothing.

The Future of Our Work and The Future of Arc Communications

My impression of Arc Communications before I joined the company was that it had a very deep comprehension of business. When I joined the company on the invitation of Yoshihiro Sato, the head of the web design & cross media department, he said, “Your job is to give added value to that.”

My belief has been that design in the world of business is to be used as a tool for enhancing corporate value or of giving added value. That is why I continue to hold Yoshihiro's words to heart as I carry out my work.

With that said, however, my aim is to have people say, “Graphic design is the true backbone of Arc Communications.” It shouldn't be all that difficult. (laughs)


Koichi Ogawa
Joined Arc Communications in 2008 and is in charge of art direction and design. Prior to joining Arc Communications, worked for a manufacturer and a graphic design company. As art director, he is also involved in providing guidance to younger designers in the Website Design & Planning Department.

My film recommendation

The Long Goodbye (1973; US)
directed by Robert Altman

Elliott Gould is one of my favorite actors. He plays Philip Marlowe in this movie, and it is by far his best film. His portrayal of the role inspired the popular Japanese television series Tantei Monogatari (Detective Story) starring Yusaku Matsuda.

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

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Photo Contest

Theme: ‘Art’ as Found in My Surroundings

When we saw “arc graphics,” the new website for the Arc Communications' graphic design business, we were inspired to try taking photos of pieces of art ourselves. Looking at the resulting photos is quite interesting to get a glimpse into what our staff members define as art. Even those photos that may not be so easy to understand are apparently of art, too, even for no other reason than the person who took it saying so!

View drawings here

Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

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The voting was closed.

1. Original tumblers designed by the Arc Communications Graphic Design Team 20 winners

Please select one of the six designs.

  1. tumbler1
  2. tumbler2
  3. tumbler3
  4. tumbler4
  5. tumbler5
  6. tumbler6

“Hajimete Demo Kantan; Kanarazu Tokusuru Ao-iro Shinkoku, Kojin Jigyonushi, Fureeransu Nara Zettai Kono Houho! (Easy Blue Form Gives You the Advantage from the First Filing: The Best Method for One-man Businesses and Freelancers)”2. “Hajimete Demo Kantan; Kanarazu Tokusuru Ao-iro Shinkoku, Kojin Jigyonushi, Fureeransu Nara Zettai Kono Houho! (Easy Blue Form Gives You the Advantage from the First Filing: The Best Method for One-man Businesses and Freelancers)”(Asahi Shimbun Publications Inc.)
On sale from December 4, 2009

10 winners

  • Winners will be determined by a lottery drawing.
  • Presents will be shipped to winners in lieu of an announcement. Please note that we may contact a winner by email to ask for a shipping address.
  • Presents are available only to residents of Japan. Our apologies that we cannot ship to overseas addresses.

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Arc Communications Inc.
Moriden Bldg. 7th Fl., 3-9-9 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-0073 Japan
Phone +81-3-5730-6133 Fax +81-3-5730-6134

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