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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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. Not only did we create an integrated property marketing campaign for a major global mixed-use […]

Interview: Reiko Natsukawa

Name: Reiko Natsukawa

Job title: Account manager

Hometown: Tokyo

Favourite hangout: Anywhere in Minato Ward, Tokyo. I consider myself a foodie and I enjoy discovering the many good restaurants around there with my friends. Sometimes I wish my favorite hangout place was the gym though!

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.

Interview: Alan Welch

Name: Alan Welch Job title: Senior Video Producer Hometown: Englewood, New Jersey, USA Favorite hangout in Tokyo/Japan: The Fuji Avec camera district of Nakano. It’s just this area of both new and used camera gear—they have basically all you could ever want and it’s off the beaten path.   What is your background? When I […]

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.

Interview: Sophia Kirtley

I came into marketing in a really roundabout kind of way. I studied Japanese at Leeds University, and I really liked the international relations classes. In particular, I really liked the topic of soft power.

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

By Myriam White Editorial Intern 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. Whether by print, online, phone, or direct mail, there are a plethora of ways for businesses to advertise and, in […]

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.

Four ways to give your video impact through music

People judge a video in an instant, largely based on subconscious feelings. Music is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, player in this decision. It is the art form that speaks to our senses in the most direct way, often inducing all sorts of feelings—both with and without the listener’s awareness. Understanding of music transcends background, language, age, and status.

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: Joy Fajardo

I read communications in college, which involved writing articles for various publications. After graduation, I came to Japan where I taught English. As I wanted to go back to the roots of my area of study, I joined Shine on! Kids, a non-profit organization helping children—and their families—fighting cancer in Japan.

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.

Interview: Ioan Sameli

The first question to ask is, “What is the primary goal of the website or its redesign?” Is it to gain sales? Is it to communicate core values through a blog? Is it “an online business card” for people searching for information on the company’s office, goods or services?

Interview: Sam Bird

I’ve been in Japan for 10 years. I came here initially as an assistant language teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme in Niigata Prefecture.

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