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Survey on the actual situation of Japanese design archives

what is going on?Design archives of these people


Mitsuo Katsui

graphic designer


Interview: November 8, 2016 (Tue) 14: 00-15: 00
Place: Katsui Design Office
Interviewee: Mr. Kazui Mitsuo
Interviewer: Keiko Kubota, Tomoko Ishiguro
Writing: Tomoko Ishiguro



Mitsuo Katsui

graphic designer
Born in Tokyo in 1931.
After graduating from Tokyo University Education University in 1955, after working for Ajinomoto advertisement production room,
Established Katsui Design Office in 1961.
Emeritus Professor, Musashino Art University.

Mitsuo Katsui



He is one of the heavyweights who have driven the Japanese graphic design world for more than half a century and is also a pioneer who pioneered exploring digital design as expression.In addition to working on graphic design in general such as poster, signature, editorial design, he has also served as an art director at the international exposition such as Osaka Expo in 1970, Okinawa Okinawa in 1975 and Tsukuba Science Expo in 1985.

I became crazy about cameras in my school days.I learned color contrast and gradation, and I was interested in high contrast of light and shade in monochrome photograph.The viewpoint is fruited in the debut work "People of New York" in 1958.Independently produced posters coloring black and white photographs with silk screen were awarded the Japan Advertising Foundation Award, with the composition of letters and photos being evaluated.
Starting with the quarterly magazine "Energy" (Esso Standard Oil) since the mid-1960s, he has worked as an art director.While pursuing a layout that expresses functionally beautifully from an editorial point of view, while expanding the perspective of communication in design and media literacy.At the "Encyclopedia of the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary World" (Kodansha), which is the first encyclopedia that a designer involved in full swing in Japan, together with architectural critic Kawazoe Toori, spent three years spending three years developing typographical typography and color planning We have built a design system that standardized everything about editorials.
I constantly looked at graphic design from the root rather than the surface, I caught it as a visual language, analyzed the phenomenon of light and projected it on a number of works.In 1968, a color sample book "DIC Color Guide" (Dainippon Ink and Chemicals Industry) was created based on the color pattern drawn in countless numbers.
When the process of plate making shifted from chemical processing to digital processing in the 1980's, I first started looking at digital possibilities and started CG.Looking for light with a texture in the digital space, it was cultivated since the time we were following the camera.
I'd like to explore "a world that mixes and resonates the bundle of light that the digital has and the space of the sun's light."




The 11th Tokyo International Print Biennale (1979) The Japan Foundation + The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo
Hana (1993) Morisawa
Sharaku's birth anniversary (1995) Mainichi Newspaper
Elfin Light (1997) Pleats Please Issey Miyake
Visual horizon (2004)
AGI-JAPAN (2006)


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Expo'90 International Flower and Green Exhibition (1990)
National Ethnographic Museum (1972)



Modern World Encyclopedia (1971) Kodansha
Journal Physical Education Education (1971 ~ 75) Senshukan Shoten
Muscle is an engine (1988) Taisenkan
Contemporary graphic design large system CG edition (1989) Kodansha
Hijikata Tatsumi Butoh Daigaku Scabs and caramel (1993) Yu-hi
Maestro world musician Kinokita Aki work collection (2006) Shogakkan

Mr. Katsui's work



You should capture not only works but also tools and era background

Ishiguro Please reflect on your long-term activities and tell us what you think about what you leave as archives.


Regarding graphic design such as Katsui poster and sign design, I think that not only a single piece of work but also tools and era background must be placed in a big flow.For example, in the past, an architect was doing a structural calculation using a stick-shaped calculation slider and we were doing a proportional calculation with a circular measuring slide.In order to think about the relationship of up and down, left and right, and to make a format, a cube was indispensable.Now that you can do with computer software, you no longer need to use the cube, but there are things like expressions and expressions unique to the cubes.
What is most important as a background is that various groups have been established and the society has changed significantly by the 1950s after the war. "Crafts News "was launched, and a number of organizations including Tokyo ADC, AGI (International Graphics Federation), Nichi Miyami and others were made.
At that time, the problem of what to do with the future CI was standing.Among them, Olivetti is particularly strongly impressed.We made their own ideal environment from factory and office environment to corporate philosophy, and integrated them from architecture and interior to textiles and graphics.That shock had a big impact on the designers of those days.
In 1946, "ENIAC" which is regarded as the first computer in the world was developed, and eventually a huge computer entered into an era that took charge of all work such as clerical work and salary.IBM's supercomputer was introduced in every company, but in the 1980's it turned into a personal computer.A major change in such a period has great influence on communication.


What is required as communication in the big tide of Ishiguro change is that the design has been shaped under the influence of it.


Katsui You can not talk about that perspective.As for characters, developed by Hensen and Morisawa before World War II, developed after the war as the Higashi Shinken, Morisawa in the West.There is a famous poster on the theme of afforestation, designed by Ryuichi Yamashiro in 1955. ""Forest" and "Forest" are filled and drawing the landscape of "mountain", but this was a design that I could not do without using phototypes.From the 50's to the beginning of the 60's it was just the era of phototypes.
Phototypes are drawing the flow of Japanese wood typography.In the early Edo period I shifted to woodcut prints that engrave patterns and letters one by one, but until then they used rather wood type letters for a long time.Because there is a flow of wood typography and woodblock technology, I think that phototypes continued until the middle of 80 years and developed.
German rhino type developed fonts in Europe, Morisawa created that joint venture in Osaka.Morisawa then came to associate with Apple Computer (now Apple) and developed a new font.At the time I was called to the other head office to cooperate in developing fonts for Japanese.I visited there with 6 to 7 people and lectured for about a week.When I came back, Macintosh was delivered.Then I decided to use it.


From Ishiguro photography to digital, its change was rapid.


It is probably influenced by the fact that Katsui base was unique in Japan.It influenced South Korea, China and South Asia, everyone approached Morisawa and developed letters.Also in the course of change, you can see the process of communication being built in the digital world.We have dealt with that kind of wind, so we will see things in relation.I would like to position it properly as to how the times have been involved.I do not think that the work has just remained, as personal achievement, but I think that you should capture how it has remained in the era.



Important archive of making industry basic


Ishiguro First of all, you read the times and society behind the work and you have to think about why the work was born.


Katsui so, so.I would like to see it all after all.In modern times, there are no people to see in such a way.How to interpret things is changing.Though new ones are coming out more and more, we still remember that new ones are constantly on top of the idea of old things.
In 1968 I was asked by Dainippon Ink and I made "DIC color sample" with Mr. Kazumitsu Tanaka, Nadamoto Kimoto and I and three people.Since the color correlation of Munsell was the axis, the circle became a sample book which overlapped.Even though there was a sample book, I just summarized the colors somehow.In short, we did to how to replace Munsell's system with the color of ink.In that era, a large number of sample books for phototypes were also made.I think it is one of the important tools.
Then, Mr. Harahiro made efforts to develop fancy paper and left a sample book.Although there are various papers at this time, it was a pioneering attempt at that time.Working as a designer to create the basic things in the industry is important, and in the 50s and 60s there was such a success.Because the Macintosh 's box is on such a thing, you can immediately get the colors and characters you want.


Kubota First of all, there was a lot of data creation.


Katsui Soft software will do it now.It is nice to use convenient software, but on the other hand, I think there is also a need to think about whether there is no problem with its purpose or direction.Graphic design is a design that creates through the media, but the media itself will change with the times.I think that how to archive this is an important issue.


Ishiguro If you do not deal with it by understanding it, there is a fear that it may become a superficial archive.


Katsui That's right.Even with books, big books got smaller, magazines came out, something like a mook was made, and a cartoon book was born.There was an era when photographs and illustrations grew, and there was also a fashion.From the universal era when the editors performed both layout and illustration, eventually the division of labor has advanced.There was also influence of Neue · Grafik.From the era when the designer was only designing the cover, it also made it to go inside.From the relationship with each era, design is what remained as the inevitable result.So even if you cut out only a single piece of work, the question remains whether it will be a document.


Ishiguro In order to be a living archive, it means that if you do not allow society as a background to be understood, it will not be helpful for anything.Ideal as an archive, it can complement so far.


Mr. Yoshiro Katsui 's "Hayashi and Forest" poster must be left with that meaning.


Because Kubota Katsui 's work became a computer, I feel that there are many works that could be expressed in terms of development.


Katsui That's because I was doing it for a long time.


Kubota Even at that time, was not it hard to keep up with using computers?


It is too hard for Katsui computer (laugh).Because I switched one by one, connected, and changed it.What you are doing is the same as computer.Rather it is easy now.What we do next if we can easily do is now a problem.


Ishigu Currently, which of the works are kept in?


There are still quite a lot of things kept in the Katsui office, but posters will be kept at DNP in the future.In addition, there are works kept at Toyama Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Utsunomiya Art Museum, Kawasaki City Citizens Museum.Books and cubes are proceeding by the way they are kept at Musashino Art University taught this year.


Is Ishiguro version and other materials such as editorials kept also?


I had left Katsui temporarily, but now I have not left.I had left behind temporarily but ...., I threw it away.Only old old black and white patterns are left.


Ishiguro That is also planned to enter Musashi Miho.Will it be possible to browse not only at the university but also at the university?


Katsui I am asked to do so.Also I can read books that I have been affected so far.Recently, even if you bring it to a secondhand bookstore, you can not sell much, so you can take it with free shipping.


Even Kubota should be a university, is not it?Students can make research subjects, and gradually put them in order.It is also study to organize.Meanwhile, I heard the story that although I put it in the repository, it is left untouched without being sorted out.


Organizing the Katsui archive, there are not many people to do.


Ishiguro In addition, do you have materials that look into a part of the creative activities such as drawings, notes, diaries?


Katii Ii.I have not left them.As a thing to know the creative clue, there are some books and manuscripts left.I do not want to show the sketch so I threw it away.I thought what would happen when I was not, I thought they were lonely and I do not like being used (laugh).It is good to be analyzed, though.



What is important in design heritage is the 1960s


Katsui The important period in the design heritage of the 20th century will be the 1960s.Because various things of the design occurred at that time.This is the most important thing.If things of the '60s are not gathered considerably, it will be gone, it will be useless.In those days Japan was still poor, but what I do is really new.It was a time when we have to do something that has never existed before.Everything like the initial beat of the design is packed in that era.


Ishiguro When you hear it, you realize that you must consciously collect works and materials of the time.


Katsui There are some people who survive, others do not have some.First of all, I want you to record what exactly is where you are.I can not use it later unless it is recorded at the university, in the art museum, or what is there.


Ishiguro Our activities are also targeted there.First of all, we are progressing from interview survey, but in the long run we aim to become an entrance of information that links with external archives and lets you know where and where.


Morisawa is doing about Katsui's copyright.Paper is also unique to Japan as a Japanese paper, I think that it would be nice to pick it up with an archive.



To find a breakthrough


At the beginning of Katsui we talked about the mothers of various design activities in the 1950s, but there was also an important movement after the 1960s.In 1999, Japan's first graphic gallery "Plaza DIC" opened, and Hara, Ms. Ikko, Nadamoto, Isozaki Shin and I served as the steering committee members .So I made an illustration book from planning an illustration exhibition, the illustration association stood up.There was such a chance.Also be sure to know "Tokyo Designers Space" (TDC) that began in 1976.


92 Ishiguro 92 creators from various fields gathered and it was a gallery that was independently operated.


There was a one - day show ended with Katsui 's day and every day seemed to be a party.A group of people who gathered designs, people gathered together.I think this is a good thing that can not be done in other countries.


Kubota TDC is also one of the necessary contexts in the archive.Most of those who were active in the front lines at that time were included.


Although it will be around Katsui , the 56th World Design Conference "Aspen Conference" and the 60th "Sogetsu Art Center" hall are also important.With Sogetsu, we have come into contact with people in other fields, including art critics, musicians, theater and dance, so that we can do something there.Many graphic designers came in there and was trying to create new things with a very large power.That kind of soil was in graphic design.Such a period was the 1960s.


The Ishiguro graphic design world was more free and open-minded than other designs.


Katsui: Yes, but it's free, but I have no money (laugh).That starting point is very interesting.I think the origin of design is in that era.So I think that the design prospects that continue from the latter half of the 20th century to the 21st century are sleeping in those days as key.The beginning of design existed.The beginning is a thing that forgets when it comes to shaking.People who happen to know that happened now.
IDs and architecture remain, but in the case of graphics, it usually does not remain.Even if it remains, one poster will only represent a form of expression.If the background contained in that form does not come out, it simply becomes big piece of paper.
We went to the design conference, experienced the Olympic Games and the Expo and was involved in the public business.I was thirteen at the end of the war.The generations above us went to pre-work or went to soldiers.Such a period continued for about ten years, and millions of young people died.There are no excellent people.Like the present age, the generation and the generation are not continuing.In such a situation, our generation did posters for the Olympic Games, even though we did not name, we did the direction.I had no choice but to do it.The fact that there were very large grooves also became the driving force to create the times.
But now people can not go that way.I'll do it flat, right?That is why it is necessary to capture the flow from a large perspective and position the design.I think that you can not find a breakthrough to the next unless you look back on the archive and do it.


Ishiguro Are you being lectured at the staff and university by the same story as it is today?


I did not tell Katsui anything.Desperately desperate to earn daily, I can not say such a thing (laugh).However, I taught at Musashi University for ten years, but I think that it was good to do it.If you did not do it, you would not think about the necessity of communicating designs to future generations in daily work.


Is it written in lecture notes etc in Kubota ?


There are Katsui lecture notes, a lot.But I have never used my work in lectures.They are those who make the next generation.They think they have their world and I think that it is not easy for me to copy.I want you to create it instead of the same work way.I only give the source to produce.My students have grown up while studying themselves and are active.Looking at the times is leading to the generation of the next generation.


Kubota I would like to keep such a lecture record as an archive and read it someday.


Katsui As design elements of education increase more and more, archiving is difficult.Education is the same as designing work, starting with thinking about how to persuade the other person.It is necessary to know the other party, and the more you know it deeply, the more interest you are.Otherwise, no familiarity is born. It is a modern society that we can not leave anything in the next generation unless we change the route.I think that I am confronted with a problem that is more difficult.


While teaching to the students at Kubota University, I feel that Mr. Katsui's unique problem consciousness has been presented to me everyday.There was a remark that does not come out only by the cut point of the archive.It was very helpful.Thank you very much.



Writer: Ishiko Tomoko



what is going on?
Design archives of these people

There is also the possibility of changing subjects of survey.

The subjects (individuals) to be surveyed have been selected, including those who have already died, referring to the 2006 Asahi Shimbun publication "The Great Masters who have designed Nippon".

* Is a person who has died.




Let's talk about Shiro Kuramata

Symposium held

Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991) is a legendary designer who was active in the 1960s and 1980s.
His character and his work continue to fascinate people all over the world.
Thirty years before his death, he held a symposium to connect the design of Kuramata to the younger generation from the past to the present and the future as "Introduction to Shiro Kuramata".


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