Our talented team—from the creative domains of design, web, video, and editorial and the business fields of sales, management, and consulting—share their unique industry insights. Get to know us and learn what makes us tick in this special series of personal profiles.

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Enter or Expand in Japan

Japan is the third largest economy in the world, and it offers tremendous opportunities for any company that’s looking to expand into its market.

Get the Word Out

Traffic on the internet these days leans towards pictures and videos but if you don’t have appealing, web-friendly text on your website, potential viewers are going to click away from what you have to say.

Simple Social Strategy

Have you heard the latest? If you are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn you probably have. The rate at which information moves through these channels—and the range of people it reaches—has no bounds.

Interview: Edvard Vondra

Sales performance is related to a positive mindset, strong personal brand, and good time management.

Electrify your story

Marketing options using digital media are endless. With so many new outlets, ways of doing things, and functionalities—which can change on a daily basis—much of your final choice involves exploration.

The Intern Experience

As an intern, I hoped that I would be of some value to the company overall, so I was very proud to see that what I was writing and working on was actually being published both in magazines and on websites. 

Interview: Robert Heldt

The most important skills are creativity, thinking outside the box, and the ability to gain a deep understanding of the problems and challenges the client is facing.

Make the First Steps

Communication is the most crucial aspect of any marketing strategy, and in this digital age, we have the advantage of being able to easily adapt our message and how we communicate, however and whenever we choose.

Find Your Corporate Identity

Many think branding is just a combination of shapes, colors, and words. But your brand is more than simply a logo and tagline. It’s your company’s personality.

Interview: Devin

When it comes to web design, I always start by finding out the client’s preferences, wants, and needs. The most important thing is what the client needs. After that, I brainstorm. My brainstorming involves comparing my vision of the product with what the client needs and with competitors.

How to Localize Your Core Message in Japan

Japan has many challenges that any business looking to enter or expand in the market must overcome, including a complex language, perplexing culture, unique tastes, and very high standards. Despite this, localizing your brand message can be easier than you think.

Is Livestream the New Mainstream?

Livestreaming—or sharing videos in real time through social media—is a way for people and businesses to share rich experiences with their followers and customers. When a livestream is started through a user or company profile, every follower is notified, making it an efficient way of engaging with many friends, customers and other people instantly.

Interview: Simon Farrell

I’ve spent about 18 years in Japan, over three stints since 1987. After graduating from the London School of Journalism in 1992, my first job was as a stringer in Havana, Cuba, for the Daily Telegraph.

Interview: Ayako Nakamura

Quite simply, I help coordinate projects. We kick off projects by briefing the team based on what the client has asked for, and assign tasks so everyone knows what is happening. My job also involves keeping an eye on the budget, schedule, and deadlines.

What the New YouTube Means for Content Creators

You may have noticed that YouTube has made drastic changes to its user interface and it may or may not provide a pleasant experience for the casual user—depending on their taste—but for content creators it has certainly brought a host of functionality problems.

Social Success

Make your business stand out on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat

It Takes a Village: Taito Ward helps creatives grow

From the outside, the Taito Designers Village building, located on a side street in a bustling part of Tokyo, appears to be a place for young children. Walking through the hallways of this former elementary school, nobody would guess that it houses the offices of a dozen or so young design entrepreneurs.

Interview: C Bryan Jones

I’ve always enjoyed creating things, and I’m a very visual thinker. This led me into design, which led me into magazines. Initially, I worked on the prepress side before the design side. This was in the mid-1990s when we were still taping slides on to drum scanners, processing and stripping film, and making match prints for color proofing by hand to get to the final printed magazine.

Adobe Photoshop vs Sketch

Web designers rely heavily on design software to create user interfaces (UIs), and Adobe Photoshop has long been the industry standard. However, the venerable application has numerous flaws and limitations when it comes to UI design—a lack of interactive functionality to name a big one.

Business is social: Six easy steps to get social media right

Social media is no longer just a place where people go to have fun, hang out with friends or let them know what they are up to. Since helping an international airline establish its social media presence in Japan five years ago, Custom Media has seen a rapid rise in firms, brands, as well as government and non-government institutions reach out to get professional help with their social networking channels.

Interview: Brian Susantio

When I was young, I was interested in creating something online that everyone could access without the boundaries of their computer. When you write software, it is for an operating system such as Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android. But with a website, anyone can access it as long as they have a browser. I started doing that in high school, using Microsoft FrontPage. This was an application like Microsoft Word that could publish content as a website. You just added backgrounds and text.

The Power of Video

Using video as a promotional tool has many advantages: It’s easy to consume, impactful, and has a high conversion rate. That’s why it’s considered one of the top three tools for social media marketing. You’d be hard-pressed not to stumble across a video while scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

2016 in Review

Last year was another very rewarding 12 months for the busy Custom Media team, and we could not have done it without you, our clients. We’ve greatly expanded our diverse portfolio and have had the pleasure of managing some incredible projects.

Interview: Reiko Natsukawa

My childhood and education were strongly connected to the arts, so you might say I grew up in the art world. My parents worked in art-related occupations, and I attended art-focused schools in the United States. I never imagined that someday I would work in sales.

The Rise of Video in Social Media

This year there has seen a strong focus on video content across social media, with many platforms introducing new ways for companies to communicate and reach out to their audience by taking advantage of video, and more recently live video.

The intern experience

Jonathan Berglund, from Sweden, interned at Custom Media from August to September 2016, working closely with the Business Development team. Here he shares his thoughts on the intern experience at Custom Media.

Five ways digital technology influences print

In the digital age, people have become accustomed to a broader color range. Camera technology, screen resolution, processor speeds, and bandwidth continue to improve. Here are five ways digital technology influences print.

Adverts in the new age

As different methods of communication surface every year, it almost seems as though linear traditional methods of advertising will join cave paintings on the list of ancient ways to interact.

Interview: Kotaro Toda

After you’ve been away from Japan for a long time—like me—when you come back you discover the place in a certain way, and you find you’re not so knowledgeable about it. That happened to me so now I’m interested in introducing the beauty of local Japan to an overseas marketplace and people in Japan who stay just three or four years.

Expression and success

For a writer, a blank page is a canvas upon which anything can come to life. For a musician, a song is a message to their audience. And for an entrepreneur, the business world is a playground filled with potential.

Interview: Kiyoko Morita

My major at college was international studies. After graduation, I got my first job as a secretary at a US Army base. But I was solely using my native language skills so, seeking an international experience, I returned to Chiba Prefecture, where I worked in a number of administration roles.

Making an impact

Today, the words tablet, notebook, and pad have lost their association with paper. In response to the shift towards digital, the printing industry has made rapid advances, with machines now able to offer greater color ranges and faster speeds than before.

Interview: Yoshiki Tatezaki

My bachelor’s degree from Chuo University is in Policy Studies. It offers a very broad approach, so I studied a range of subjects including economics, politics, foreign relations, the environment, and culture. The reason for that is to allow students to gain the perspective required for the 21st century. It was fascinating.

Generating leads on social media: dos and don’ts

Social media is a great tool for building brand awareness, driving traffic to your website and, if used appropriately, generating leads. However, it’s the last point with which brands tend to have the most trouble.

Re-brand or de-brand?

In May 2016, Instagram released a re-design and new look. Its retro camera icon, with which users had quickly and easily identified for years, was flattened, and a bright rainbow gradient added behind it. Its colorful and oversimplified elements came as quite a surprise.

To build brand relationships, get social

Ask someone about Twitter, and they might say that it’s just people telling you what they had for lunch. While this may have been true in 2008, it’s no longer the case. If this idea has been limiting the role of social media in your marketing strategy, it’s time to rethink.

Content with context

We are entering an exciting phase with the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT). As sensors continue to be embedded in everything from cars to wristwatches, those connected devices and wearable technology provide invaluable insight on, and unparalleled access to, customer behaviour.

Interview: Anthony Head

After four years of an engineering degree, I completed a communications degree at the University of Technology Sydney. In my previous role, I was working with major industrial global companies, such as Siemens, Autodesk, and CISCO, helping them to put together content marketing strategies for targeting the industrial market.

Interview: Ximena Criales

I went to university in Mexico. I was initially interested in industrial design because I had an interest in large objects and projects, and wanted to create things for spaces. But when I sat my college entrance exam, I realized that I would have more job opportunities in graphic design.

Interview: Michael Pfeffer

I’m from New Jersey, near New York City. I moved to New York for college, and studied at the School of Visual Arts. Starting in the design, print, and production industry, I worked in New York City for over six years.

Interview: Megumi Okazaki

I’m from Sendai Prefecture. I studied Liberal Arts and North American Studies at Akita International University (AIU), a liberal arts school where I spent three years. I was also an exchange student for one year at the Washington & Jefferson College near Pittsburg. During that time, I took a one-month study trip to Senegal and Gambia.

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