For those who want to know design, want to learn, enjoy

Survey on the actual situation of Japanese design archives

what is going on?Design archives of these people


Shin Matsunaga

graphic designer


Interview: October 31, 2017 14: 00 ~ 16: 30
Place: Shin Matsunaga design office
Interviewee: Shin Matsunaga Mr. Shinjiro Matsunaga
Interviewer: Keiko Kubota Yasuko Seki
Writing: Yasuko Sekiko



Shin Matsunaga

Graphic designer, art director

Born in Tokyo in 1940
Destroyed from Takanawa and Chikuho, Fukuoka prefecture due to evacuation in 1945
1964 Graduated from the Department of Design at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music
Mr. Matsunaga established design office after 1971 Shiseido advertising department

Special Prize at Nichiyo, Tokyo ADC Award, Daily Design Award,
Warsaw International Poster Biennale Gold Medal · Honor Award,
Art Scholarship Minister Minister Shinko Award, Japan Advertisement Award · Yamana Award,
NYADC Award, Purple Ribbon, Akira Kamekura, Hara Hon.

Shin Matsunaga



Tanaka Kazemitsu says about the creed "a concept of radius 3 meters" symbolizing Masanaga Masanaga's design as follows. "Actually, "life" is rooted firmly under the "work", it is expression of self-confidence that is like him, somewhat, the life is sighted by society, it is expanded to the world, it is simple, extremely The honest ideal is actually Matsunaga's true backbone. "
Kamekura Yusaku also said as follows. "I think that this person is the person who is designing as it is the human nature that he owns.What I could do is Shin's strong person who continues to struggle strongly in order not to give up my beliefs.Matsunaga's design is just "aesthetics of everyday". "It is by chance that two graphic designers representing the postwar period find the essence of true Matsunaga's design in "everyday" and "life".
Modern design that started in the beginning of the 20th century has been developing with the aim of "realizing a prosperous life" in keeping with technological innovation.On the other hand, it was also a stage of new expression to convey designer's writability and personality.Also in Japan's graphic design world, Hara, Kamekura Yusaku, Tanaka Ikko et al. Created a strong work of artistic appreciation, and was leading the design world.In this trend, Matsunaga is the first designer who has opened up an area of anonymous design blending into everyday life and has established a firm position.
Meanwhile, Matsunaga also continues his creative activities named himself "Freaks". "Freak "is a word having meaning such as impulse, capricious, drunkenness.In the space of the atelier which is different from the main job at the office, we live and work like creative creation.Unlike a simple and rigid design that is established only after a request from a client, it is another open world that can be expressed and created with inner passion.While visiting these two worlds, Matsunaga's design and freaks seemingly creates a true opposite creation.



· Shiseido Beauty Cake <Bronze Summer> (1969) Shiseido
· Shiseido San Oil <People, People> (1971) Shiseido
· Kibun material can (1978) Kibun
· Constitution of Japan (1982) Shogakkan
· Scotty (1986) Nippon Paper Crecia
· PEACE "Love, Peace and Happiness" Poster (1986)
· ISSEY MIYAKE symbol logo (1989)
· Calbee symbol logo (1994)
· Benesse Corporation Symbol Mark (1995)
· UNO (1998) Shiseido
· JAPAN "Burning in Japan, Burning Out in Japan" Poster (2001)
· National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo Symbol Mark (2004)
· ISSIMBOW (2005) Nippon Kodo
· FOMA SH702iD (2006) Sharp / NTT DoCoMo
· HIROSHIMA APPEALS 2007 poster (2007)
  Foundation Hiroshima International Cultural Foundation / Public Utility Japan Graphic Designers Association



"Shin Matsunaga's design" (1992) Kodansha
"Graphic · Cosmosure Shin Matsunaga Design World" (1996) Shueisha
"Shin Matsunaga, Story of Design" (2000) Agosto
"Shin Matsunaga, Story of Design + 11" (2004) BNN Co., Ltd.
"Ggg Books Separate volume-9 Shin Matsunaga" (2013) DNP Culture Promotion Foundation

Shin Matsunaga's work



In the present situation where design is consumed as information
I feel uneasy.

Shin Matsunaga source of design


- Mr. Matsunaga has been working as graphic designer for over 50 years since graduating from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.Meanwhile, we are exploring products such as many posters, CI, packages for everyday items, mobile phones, and other universal designs that are closely related to people's lives in a changing and contemporary era.They are the job I want the archive to keep for the future of design.
Recently, works and materials were sorted out mainly by Mr. Shinjiro's son, and the work entered at 88 museums in Japan and abroad, including the Tagawa museum in Fukuoka prefecture, the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo It is said to be in possession.Today I would like to ask Mr. Matsunaga what he thinks about Mr. Matsunaga's design archive.


Mr. Matsunaga If you say that my work is suitable for archiving, I would like to talk about the source of my design before that.
My work involves graphics in general, which makes the living environment consistent, as it is concentrated in the word "everything is a design" and "the idea of a radius of 3 meters".In that sense, the 1987 Everyday Design Award was a big event for me.Because big projects such as architecture, cars, fashion, etc were mainstream before, it was because we had never received a design of anonymous daily goods like tissue paper or Kan Chu Hai package.I was very surprised at this award and I felt like I was hit hard.


- Certainly, before Mr. Matsunaga, people with strong writers such as Yushin Kamekura and Kazumitsu Tanaka were mainstream, were not they?What was the reason for Mr. Matsunaga to explore the possibility of design that is not only that?


Matsunaga I have spent my childhood in Chikuho in Fukuoka Prefecture.I was originally born in Tokyo, living in platinum.However, my father, who was a calligrapher at the end of the Pacific War, escaped from the Tokyo Air Raid, evacuated to Kyushu at home, and lived there from early childhood to middle school. At that time Chikuho was booming with the coal industry flourishing.People of all classes lived in narrow areas from the elite of Mitsui mine to coal mining workers working black and working, and all the children attended the same school.There were children in elite families who had grand pianos and art collections at home, some children in poor families could not help going on to study though they could study.My house was never wealthy, but I kept a cultural living environment with my grandfather brought from Tokyo and a French made 9 mm projector etc.


- Have you experienced an event that finds the designers' education in such a childhood?


Matsunaga Originally a child who is a good artist, he was awarded a prize at a painting competition, and made a classmate 's name tag.


- What is a name tag?


All Matsunaga primary school students have the same name tag, but each student is different.So I was creating a family name tag for my classmates, but it got a reputation and I was struggling to ask other classes as well.In the cultural events and competitions of schools and districts, we also monopolized the prize.When graduating, it is an irresistible memory that the principal's teacher made the first "cultural service award" for me for school and that the father of the calligrapher was asked by the principal's teacher for the certificate of commendation.


- Mr. Matsunaga's work has the impression that it always expresses universal value that goes beyond times, such as corporate logos, packages for everyday items, posters with strong social message characteristics such as Hiroshima Appeals, etc. .They have the power to appeal to the feeling shared by all people beyond the boundaries of age, sex, country and culture.That sense was spent in a peculiar childhood in Chikuho's unique society, a glimpse of society's absurdity and contradiction while children, while nurtured by experiencing the figure of people who live powerfully in such a situation I do not think so.Mr. Matsunaga himself also said that "This reality that I experienced during childhood became a very big bone (backbone) for designers."After that, Mr. Matsunaga spent his junior high school and high school days in Kyoto and is going to Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.


At Matsunaga National University of the Arts, designers such as Motomi Kawakami, Fujio Ishimoto who was active in Marimekko and Kazuo Iwamura, a picture book writer, were crowded with excellent classmates.As for our time only "Craft Design Department", I was allowed to study not only design but also lacquerware, engraving, dyeing and so on.Why is it graphic design but engraving?I was embarrassed, but I was able to receive direct takumi from a writer like a human national treasure, so it was very fortunate as a result.From now on, I think that something I gained by having the chance to touch traditional crafts has influenced the work afterwards.


- It means that you were able to learn the attitude to making things, the way you catch things, knowledge and wisdom that can not be gained by studying design alone.After graduating from the University of the Arts, he was enrolled in the Shiseido Public Prosecutors' Department for seven years and became independent.


Matsunaga After born in Tokyo, I changed to Kyushu in early childhood and Kyoto in junior high school and returned to Tokyo, from the art gig to the publicity department of Shiseido.In other words, the relationship between 18 years old and beyond has been closely connected and it has become a big food for me.


About the design archive


- I think Mr. Matsunaga's 50 years of works and materials will be considerable.Currently, he seems to work mainly with Mr. Shinjiro son.


Matsunaga It's over 50 years old, the amount is huge.In my case, when I was in my 20s I got off to work as a designer and the amount of work was still small. All the work I had done for himself was enthusiasm such as a masterpiece work, and as time also had plenty of time, All left behind.However, since thirties, materials will also increase according to the job, I am busy at first, not at all.So I will leave it to the successors of assistants, but the state of arrangement and preservation varies depending on their personality and qualities.They will not be able to decide which materials to keep and which ones to dispose of.This part is only responsible for me and my family, so now I am promoting mainly on my son and my wife.


- Is it that the arrangement of materials becomes secondary work?Many people who cooperated with this survey say that they do not progress very much like Mr. Matsunaga himself.


Matsunaga That's right.I can hardly do it myself.I think that it places a big burden on my son and my wife by that much.


- In what form are you archiving in concrete?


Matsunaga First, I'm beginning with disposing things I do not need.When doing such work, books such as the complete collections that he has done, prints that it may be useful for something, prints kept in something, certificates of commendation that I received in the past, etc. are vast and have been fixed every day.I do not have any hobbies to put a certificate in my forehead and decorate each one.However, I am very saved because some people will receive what I want to organize.
Things related to work had been kept in Terada warehouse or the like before, but now it is stored separately in three places: the office, the atelier, and the cellar at home.Since this building (office) secures the storage space securely by Mihashi Sachiyo's design, works of freaks are kept underground here as well.For a while, I had an office in Tokyo Opera City, borrowed an underground warehouse and paid a huge monthly rent, but as I think of the previous thing, it seems better to secure my own space It is.From that time on, it may have been conscious of archiving.


Matsunaga Shinjiro Specifically, it stores and keeps it for each category, such as poster, package, book design, drawing work, bronze work etc.Then, work titles, production year, sizes, categories, client information such as clients, etc., together with the work image data are converted into a database by the file maker so that the storage location, the number of storages, the collection destination, etc. can also be searched together.We also filed, organized and kept the progress data of each project.


- How is the actual poster such as a poster kept?


For Shinjiro poster work, all B discretion is placed in a special cabinet, B0 size is stored in a storage case and stored on a special shelf.Those smaller than that size are saved for a certain period of time, which is unfortunate, but it is finally disposed of.Package works are kept collectively in boxes etc for each project.For example, "Tissue paper" Scotty "has been renewed several times since 1986, but we have saved it so that we can follow its process and improvements.Takara Shuzo's "Kang Chu Hai" has also been renewed several times from the original design, and the variety is increasing, but the major design keeps everything.
Graphic design is a copy, so for example posters etc. there are only a few works left in masterpiece, but there are some dozens of relatively new works.However, there are limited storage locations, so it is necessary to regularly inventory, but this is quite a difficult task.


Matsunaga What I am doing about organizing the data is to rank ABC to the job and decide which to leave.You should leave everything, but there are limits to the place too and you can not avoid being superior or inferior.Also note and idea sketches can not keep everything.In the part of Professor Kamekura of this archive survey, the person himself had disposed of all the memos and the like, but there was a statement that the disciple who missed it discarded it from the garbage box, but I was the same I thought and read it.


- So, how about articles such as magazines and newspapers?


Shinjiro All newspapers, magazines, catalogs, etc. posted are keeping the actual thing.In addition, filing a copy of the posting page, at the same time making it a database with the file maker, we are making it possible to search from posted year, newspaper / magazine name, article title etc.


- I am showing a large amount of archives such as poster works and books in the basement of the office now, is it also stored in the basement of the house and atelier in the same way?


In the basement of Shinjiro Atelier, poster works and packaging works are kept mainly.In the basement of my home, my collection of works, drawings, bronze works etc. are kept.


- It is my first time to see a well-organized archive.The database created by Shinjiro is also filled in to the collection destination and the number of points, which is high content material.With this, you will immediately know where and where.It is hard to organize the spot casually, but the input work of this data is more than that.


Shinjiro databases began around 2000.It took me a while because I created it from nothing.It starts to input from the main poster work, gradually increases the category, after that it adds it every time a new work is completed.However, I think that it is meaningless simply by being organized and kept at the office and home.Again, I believe that it will be archived for the first time by keeping it in public institutions such as museums and universities and making effective use of the work.However, I think it is a very difficult task to find out where to accept these works.


Matsunaga's problem is the destination of materials that are organized and kept on this day with great effort every day.In my case, I think that I will protect my wife and children, but I do not know what will happen in the generation of my grandchildren.


- In the case of Mr. Matsunaga, it is collected to a relatively large number of public institutions such as Germany, France, the USA, including the DNP Culture Promotion Foundation of Dai Nippon Printing, the Toyama Prefectural Art Museum, the Musashino Art University Museum, and so on .


Matsunaga poster is flat and relatively easy to store.Also, since the artistic nature and the message nature are strong, it is easy to hold an exhibition and it will be fascinating as an object of the collection even at the museum.However, my job is not just posters, I think that it would be nice to have a place to carefully archive and use other designs.


- As I was investigating about the collection of Matsunaga work, I learned that it was collected in Tagawa City Art Museum in Fukuoka Prefecture where my childhood was spared.What kind of circumstances did you have?


Matsunaga As I mentioned earlier, as a result of the fact that the evacuation destination was Chikuho, we designed and donated symbol marks and logotypes to the repayment of a boyhood when the museum was first built in Tagawa-shi.In addition to the museum opening ceremony, Mr. Shin Matsunaga · Design World Exhibition was held and donated the exhibit work at that time as it was.


What should the design archive be?


- I would like to ask how Mr. Matsunaga thinks about design archives and design museums.


Matsunaga I still want to preserve my own archive.Fortunately, in my case my son is appreciating me for organizing my works and materials.When I talk about such a story, it says, "My son can follow me afterwards," but it is impossible to inherit a creative in the first place.The person himself does not think such a thing either.


- Even so, I think it is very fortunate that my husband performs archiving work.


Matsunaga As I mentioned earlier, it is extremely difficult to save and inherit the archives by individuals such as family members.I think that it is desirable to preserve them by museums and public institutions such as universities.
I am currently preparing for the exhibition at the poster museum in Germany and I hope to donate the work as it is.It is already in the museums of Munich and Hamburg, but there is also a sense of trust and sense of security that if you are in Germany you will preserve the work nationality or work properly.Currently, I'm working on the adjustment work with the art museum side.But its contents are only a part of my job.


- Certainly, donating an exhibition work does not mean that it is all works.However, if the group of works organized according to a certain theme is archived as it is, I wonder if I can clearly tell Ms. Matsunaga's message.


Matsunaga It may be fortunate if it becomes an archive even in such a form.


- Mr. Matsunaga has many jobs of companies and organizations such as packages and CIs, but is there no movement that the client archives designs related to products as part of cultural activities?


Matsunaga Unfortunately, there are few companies that manage and store their products and design materials in Japan.In businesses and organizations, persons in charge and departments change, so it seems to be difficult to connect design ideas.For example, in the enterprise, the design process of long-seller products such as "Kang Chu Hai" is not properly kept, and there are many cases where it is only necessary to refer to the materials that the designer has if necessary.Once in Shiseido, the archive was not perfect, and I and Ms. Eiko Ishioka etc had provided posters etc of Shiseido era possessed by himself during the exhibition.


- As long as changes in the times and product cycles are so fast, it is becoming difficult to explore the origin of the design and follow the process of change.I strongly feel that there is an important meaning in the design archive not only the results but also the background and the process of change in design are born and traced, so that the era can be revalidated.


Matsunaga There is a question to the contrary, but where is the goal of this "Japanese design archive actual situation survey"? To say, I am promoting the arrangement of my work and materials myself, but I do not know what will happen after that.It is impossible for one company to do such activities, but it seems that it is difficult for the government and the government to create a design museum in the current state of Japan, and it can not be expected at all.


- You 're right.Since we are only weak NPO corporations, we can not create a design museum.However, as people change the generation of Japanese designs, their works and materials are lost more and more.Once lost, you can not regain it again.That is why I think that it is useless to hear the current situation and leave it in the record.For example, opening an exhibition is also important where the works and materials are located, who can manage it, what kind of state it is, and leave clues to it.In the future, I am pushing hard work while hoping for cooperation with people and organizations thinking about similar things.


Mr. Matsunaga What I'm interested in recently is that so-called design journals are gone.Although it may be good on the web just to get information, I think that life itself is design, so I feel uneasy about the current situation that designs are consumed as information.Considering the meaning and background of design, the meaning of the journal as a place to talk with is not great.Even from the viewpoint of design archive, the existence of design journals should be large.


- That's right.However, with regard to design archives, organizations, groups, individuals that focus on archives are appearing little by little.Even though the construction of a national design museum is difficult, there may be new forms of museums in which small design archives network.I also want to explore cooperation with such organizations.Thank you for today.



Censure: Yasuko Seki


contact information

Shin Matsunaga design office

Phone: 03-5225-0777

Fax: 03-5266-5600


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".


click     click