Yamaha Design “Synapses” PSR-E360


A portable keyboard perfect for your living space.


A bold panel surface never before seen in a Yamaha portable keyboard, drawing inspiration from a single wooden board with a natural feel that matches interiors. Choose from two colors, maple and dark walnut, to suit your living space.


The realistic depiction of wood and gradation resembling a sunburst-finished guitar are finely expressed using gravure printing. The design makes use of the rabbeted surfaces needed for such printing, with large grooves used for the speaker grill, evoking the solidity of wood.


We also looked anew at font typefaces and colors that would suit a lifestyle that can be enjoyed casually. The interface organizes features into categories, and can be used even by those unfamiliar with its operation, without requiring any special preparation.


The PSR-E360 boasts a simple, warm design you can have by your side even when you’re not playing. This is an instrument that will add color to your daily life as a presence that you can enjoy for a long time.

Sena Ohtsuka
Sena Ohtsuka
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Masaharu Ono
Masaharu Ono
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Sticking to precise expression.

The PSR-E360 is a portable keyboard with features that allow anyone to enjoy playing, such as a variety of learning functions and an abundance of beautiful voices. It has been developed for those who want to start playing the keyboard or parents and children who want to enjoy playing together. Given that aim, we envisioned a more diverse living environment, utilizing simulations with illustrations and CGI to achieve a wood-grain design that naturally blends with furniture.

In order to showcase the realistic depiction and beautiful gradation of wood, we adopted gravure printing, which is excellent for expressing fine shades. At first, the printers stated clearly that it would be difficult to express this gradation smoothly. However, we couldn't give up, and asked our in-house engineers to analyze printing values and actual color density, study plate structure under a microscope, and then try out combinations of patterns and spot colors on various plates. After a great deal of trial and error, we were finally able to achieve this gradient.
Until now, Yamaha products have commonly used an original font based on Helvetica, but for the PSR-E360 we have newly adopted Futura to match this instrument, which is intended to blend into the lifestyles of its owners. We were also particular about subtly adjusting the font color to match each of the colors on the two wood grains. Changing existing printing methods and fonts, proved a difficult challenge but as a result, I think that we have created a value-centered keyboard with unprecedented marketability.

We also thoroughly focused on how to convey the value of the product in a manner that would reaches people who have previously never been interested in musical instruments, rather than just being happy with having completed the product. Together with key visuals created together with Instagrammers and graphic designers, and taglines expressed in handwritten calligraphy style, we created a worldview for the product. In addition, we turned our attention to designing booths for use at trade shows and proposed an exhibition method that evokes the image of a living space. The package features graphic design to inspire the desire to keep it after purchase rather than throw it away. I think that my hobby of visiting cafés and interior design shops was useful in creating this worldview.

With the aim of a keyboard that you could have a long relationship with in the same way as with furniture, we created a form that you would not easily get tired of. Because the design is mostly made up of wood grain, I think it has a sense of familiarity even if placed on a desk or a floor with a natural feel, and I would be very happy for people to have it in their rooms, play it whenever they want, and keep it in their lives for a long time.

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