perpetual beta

The VCFA MFA in Graphic Design Program Blog

Ian Lynam at ATypI Tokyo 2019

September 2, 2019

VCFA’s Ian Lynam is presenting at ATypI Tokyo 2019.

His talk, “From Bijin-ga to Brutus” is one of the least known stories in Japanese graphic design history is the emergence of Sun Studio / サン・スタジオ, one of Japan’s very first graphic design studios.

Sun Studio was run by poster designer Hokuu Tada / 多田北烏 (1889–1948), who influenced countless early graphic designers and typographers in Japan in the Taishō and Shōwa periods through his contributions to the literature of nascent commercial art. Posters designed by Tada for Kirin Beer festoon countless businesses in Japan today, intimating a sense of nostalgia and history in the bustling megalopolis—yet the story behind them is largely unknown.

Another important figure, one whose story has largely been disconnected from greater Japanese graphic design history, is Seiichi Horiuchi/ 堀内誠一 (1933–1987), whose design work for Japanese lifestyle magazines largely defines Japanese consumer-fashion culture today.

This heavily illustrated presentation will explore the direct historical connection between Tada and Horiuchi—from the birth of commercial art (商業美術) in Japan to the refinement of graphic design (グラフィックデザイン), helping to contextualize both historical and contemporary graphic design and typography.

Read more about the presentation here.