+81 Magazine

Vol.75 Japan Graphics issue


In recent years we have seen several instances where it seemed as if there was a distrust or doubt towards graphic design, so we can’ t help but feel there is a sort of disillusionment with design in the world today. We at +81 have watched over visual cultures in Japan and the rest of the world since day one, which is why we would like to devote an issue to not only reaffirming the masterfulness of Japanese graphic design by charting its course from the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games to today, but also redefining the importance of graphic design by charting the course of its history in Japan from the postwar years to the present and the near future.


The issue kicks off by focusing on Yusaku Kamekura, the creative mind behind the look of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, along with interviews of other masters of design responsible for making the 60s, 70s, and 80s so great. We speak with them about the state of design scene in their respective eras, the stories behind some of their most iconic pieces, and messages they have for future generations. In the second part of the issue we turn our attention to foreign graphic designers who have drawn great inspiration from Japanese graphic designers and their handiwork. We go into the background of these international designers, such as how they encountered those Japanese designs that influenced them, why they were so impressed by these designs and how they influenced their own work, as well as their thoughts on Japanese graphic design as a whole. Wrapping up the issue is a look at eight graphic designers whose careers are very much active in the present progressive tense. See what makes them with tick with their fresh, unaffected commentary and creations born from unique ideas and innovative and oftentimes multifaceted approaches to design.


We hope our readers will enjoy exploring the differences, or perhaps similarities, in creative style, technique, sense, and mindset towards graphic design between the past masters starting the issue and the designers of today’ s generation in the latter half.

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