Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nintendo's beautiful company guides

In today's post we will take a look at a Nintendo tradition that is somewhat shielded from the eyes of the general public.

Like most other regular businesses, Nintendo produces a company compendium for internal use, with information on history, strategy, departments and management.

Cover of this year's Nintendo company guide

But unlike most companies - that usually deliver dull affairs not unlike telephone directories dipped in some branding sauce - Nintendo's company guide is eye-poppingly well designed.

And that's not all. Every yearly update is completely redesigned. Each year has a totally unique and beautiful design, like masterpieces made to enter a designers guild.

These company guides always contain a good section covering Nintendo's history. It is clear Nintendo believes that knowledge of its past is an important part of the foundation for the future; a heritage that new, young staff need to be aware of.

The 2014 edition is (maybe) even more gorgeous than the previous editions. It is styled like a deck of Hanafuda cards.

Nintendo Ultra Machine

The history section (shown here) contains some great drawings of a number of Nintendo's iconic toys and games. All done in the traditional style used for these cards.

Nintendo Love Tester

Included are some of Nintendo's early million sellers, like the 1967 Ultra Machine and the Love Tester from 1969.

Also shown are a gun and target from the Kousenjuu SP series (1970) and the Ultra Scope (1971).

Nintendo Kousenjuu SP Gun and Lion Target (left) and Ultra Scope (right)

Other images contain an Ele-conga with Auto-player from 1972 and one of the first Nintendo video game consoles: the Color TV Game 15 (1979).

As mentioned, these guides are for internal use only, by Nintendo in Japan. So you will have a hard time finding one.

Nintendo Ele-conga and Auto-player

There is one way though, and that is to apply for a position at Nintendo. Even if you do not land a job (which is the most likely outcome, as only a small percentage make the cut), you will receive the company guide if you pass the initial stages of the application process.

Nintendo Color TV Game 15

For an interesting read on Nintendo's recruitment process (including a picture of a company guide edition from a few years ago), check out this story by Anditto Heristyo.

Update: I recently posted much more extensive coverage of this great 2014 company guide, as well as the completely different 2013 edition.

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