Design Lead

Virtual Car

In July 2020 Nissan revealed the brand’s first all-electric crossover SUV, the ARIYA. The car launch coincided with the reveal of Nissan’s first new logo in 20 years. It is sought to connect the brand’s heritage with the digital world and opens the gates to a new era of Nissan. The challenge was bringing exceptional technology and new brand together into a seamless narrative.

The focus was on how the car helps drivers throughout the day. Rather than simply showcasing technology, we detailed real-life scenarios.

A story of timeless Japanese craftmanship, beauty, and futurism.

We focused on telling a story of how design, craftsmanship, and an ideal EV experience had been bought together seamlessly. At its heart, the experience is an interactive story, and the concept that drives the experience is called ‚New Dawn. New Era. — A story of Timeless Japenese Craftmanship, Beauty and Futurism‘. This became the organizing idea for the team’s thinking going forward. 

The Ariya’s signature colour is copper. The car’s designers describe it as: „The colour of the sun as it breaks through to start a new day. It symbolizes the dawn of a new automotive era while also giving the nod to the traditional Japanese artists who formed copper into works of functional art“. 

From the smallest UI elements, bespoke typography styling and composition of all elements we achieved a new and unique brand language that is deeply anchored in the company’s history.

A sense of serenity

Within the digital creative execution, we have intentionally surfaced Nissan’s brand heritage – Japanese craftsmanship. We took inspiration from Japanese graphic design, architecture and interior design as well as unique elements from Ariya to weave into the experience. We re-defined the use of typography to express Japanese subtlety. UI elements intentionally feel – giving space to the essential parts of the experience. Ariya takes away the stresses of the driver and helps them through the day-to-day of their lives. All motion principles are derived from the car itself.

Creating a subtle & quiet environment for the car.

The art direction of scenery is designed to be uncluttered, echoing the car’s astonishingly spacious interior. The environment takes on an ‚organically familiar form‘ which gives that same sense of serenity and calm while helping to pull focus to the Ariya at all times. Colours and textures are not only subtle and quiet; they add a little futurism to the overall experience – underlining the particularity of this car.

"Nissan reveals how design can usher in a digital world of driving."

“We’ve been talking about delivering a distinctive brand experience that elevates our digital experience to be on the same level of energy, craft, and value for our customers as our cars. Today is the day that we’ve changed the Nissan brand and customer experience. There’s no going back… only building from here.”

— Mike Lavigne | Director, Head of Experience Strategy & Design. Nissan Global Customer Experience teamrper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


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My Role & Responsibilities

The Virtual Car experience was part of a larger design ecosystem to introduce the new brand of Nissan. My responsibilities as a Design Lead were to define and create the art direction and lay the groundwork of a new UI design system. In order to achieve the best outcomes we went through multiple iterations of global user testing for which we created interactive prototypes. As we were a large design team I was leading creative deliverables across design disciplines and made sure we deliver consistent products across tracks.

The Creative Team

Jude Gay – Associate Creative Director 

Sindhuja Shyam – UX Lead

Rebecca Werres – Design Lead

Sandeep Singh Bisran – Senior UX Designer

Daniele Signoriello – Senior Designer

Lawrence Pearson – 3D Design & Art Direction

Vicky Yang – Motion Designer


Development & User Research


Other projects