In-house designed Yamaha piano is key to future sales

Yamaha has unveiled its ‘future piano’, the fruit of 18 months of design and development led by Yoshihiro Katsumata at the company’s Product Design Laboratory in Hamamatsu, Japan.

The company claims the distinctive design of the CLP-F01 digital model is a ‘radical review’ of the piano design, which has remained largely unchanged for centuries. The slender body represents a move by Yamaha toward pianos that complement the modern interior style found in target consumers’ homes. The instrument’s depth is 38cm, although its keyboard spans the full 88-key range.

‘Design is playing a very important role in differentiating ourselves from competitors,’ says Andrew Kemble, joint managing director of Yamaha-Kemble Music in the UK. ‘Many other models have stuck with a standard box-type design; if you covered up the brand names, it would be hard to identify one from the other.’

Yamaha is hoping that by appealing to consumer tastes in interior decoration it will be able to expand the market for piano sales. The F series of pianos is presented against a high-gloss wooden back-board which is available in four colours. ‘The piano has always evolved with each era and the CLP-F01 is appropriate to current living spaces,’ says Katsumata.

The F01 is principally a grand piano emulator, but also features a bank of other instrument samples, including strings, harpsichord and electric pianos.

Design projects at Yamaha are typically led by one designer who draws on the experience of staff throughout the company. The Hamamatsu team comprises around 40 people.

Yamaha Product Design Laboratory

• HQ in Hamamatsu, Japan

• Headed by Yasuhiro Kira, its director

• Output includes musical instruments, audio-visual design, sporting equipment


Latest articles

Upcoming design books to look out for

Spotlighting marginalised women designers, “heads on” design solutions to environmental issues and more – these are the anticipated design books we think you should read.