Wave it High – Tori Conway

Often times when we think of branding we think of logos. The sports logo on your jersey, the emblem on the top of your laptop, but there is another type of branding that our textbook doesn’t mention. Nation branding.

For something so well know, so well used, so well seen, why isn’t flag design mentioned in our textbook? Flags don’t seem too important at first glance, just varying combinations of different coloured squares. However, each aspect of their design is chosen as a way to express national pride and identity. Their shapes and colours often reflect the society in which they were created.

In the 18th Century, flags were created using colours from a Kingdom’s coat of arms, sewn together into horizontal bars. In fact, the Netherlands was one of the first countries to use this method, setting a trend for Europe (Poon). This is the reason for why many European countries use the tribar style, having three different horizontal bars of colour. The tribar trend is also what eventually influenced the method of using vertical bars. France chose to rotate their stripes, going against current European society in a show of revolution (Poon).

Ferdio, Dominating Flag Layouts
Ferdio, Dominating Flag Layouts

Even colours are chosen for a reason, many countries adopting the colour scheme of those who colonized them (Poon). An example being the common use of red, white, and blue, colours belonging to both France and Britain, as well as many of their colonies.

Ferdio, The Most Dominating Flag Colours of the World
Ferdio, The Most Dominating Flag Colours of the World

Similar to many areas of graphic design, there are soft guidelines to making a truly effective design. In 2006 Ted Kaye, a vexillologist or one who studies flags, released a 16-page pamphlet listing five basic principles for good flag design.

Ted Faye, 2006
Ted Faye, 2006

However, like true graphic design, some of the most effective flags are those who actually break some of these good flag principles. Take South Africa, from 1928 to 1994 they used a flag with an orange, white, and blue tribar on which sat tiny versions of the Dutch, African National Congress, and British flag. After the release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, they began trying to come up with a new design to help show South Africa’s new direction into the future (Stuff.co.nz). After four years they finally adopted the current design, which goes against Kaye’s third principle of only using two or three colours. In this case, however, the use of so many colours has a deeper meaning and works well. Each of the colours represents the different colour schemes of South Africa’s past, formed into the shape of an arrow, a symbol of pointing to the future (Mars).


South African Flag, Old vs Current
South African Flag, Old vs Current

South Africa isn’t the only one with a unique flag that goes against the five basic principles. A far lesser known flag is the one belonging to the secret Russian city of Zheleznogorsk. The city was originally founded in 1950 for the purpose of manufacturing weapons grade plutonium for the USSR (Mars). The flag has a red background, on top of which is the image of a bear breaking an atom. Their flag, though breaking the very first good flag principle, is both unique and memorable.

Zheleznogorsk City Flag
Zheleznogorsk City Flag

Flags give us a peak at that country’s history during its creation. Some designs are created out of violence and the fight for freedom, such as Mozambique’s flag which wields an AK-47 in reference to their fight to free themselves from Portugal (Stuff.co.nz).

Mozabique's Flag
Mozabique’s Flag

Other countries have even changed their flags over time, such as Canada, who changed their flag prior to the 1967 centennial in order to foster more independence from the British monarch (Stuff.co.nz).


Canadian Flag, Old vs Current
Canadian Flag, Old vs Current

Ted Kaye ends his 16-page booklet of design tips with a piece of advice, recommending that the creation of flag design is left in the hands of individuals and not committees. After all, that is where some of the most creative design comes from.


Kaye, Ted. “Good Flag, Bad Flag.” 2006. North American Vexillological Association. <https://nava.org/digital-library/design/GFBF_English.pdf>.

Mars, Roman. 7 Fantastic flags that break every design rule. 25 July 2015. <https://ideas.ted.com/7-fantastic-flags-that-break-every-design-rule/>.

Poon, Linda. What’s in a flag’s design. 15 April 2016. <https://www.citylab.com/design/2016/04/infographic-breaks-down-design-of-worlds-flags-ferdio-ted-kaye/478104/>.

Stuff.co.nz. A brief history of flag design. 16 August 2015. <https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/71094667/a-brief-history-of-flag-design>.

—. The best, weirdest, most interesting flag changes throughout history. 27 November 2015. <https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/the-flag-debate/73998670/the-best-weirdest-most-interesting-flag-changes-through-history>.



The Evolution of Indian Poster Design – Sarah Saeed



History of Graphic Arts in India, An Overview of the Indian Legacy of Graphic Design, Aman Rupesh Xaxa


Bollywood movie poster design has demonstrated an interesting evolution throughout the years. It’s known for its iconic, exaggerated illustrations, accompanied with strikingly dramatic typography. From the city streets to the roads of rural India, you can see this style of poster glued on to a wall of nearly every corner. Furthermore, the posters from this era favoured creativity over pragmatism, so as to stand out even amongst the largest crowds of Indians.

According to Irna Qureshi, the earliest surviving Indian movie poster is believed to be for a 1924 film called Kalyan Khajina. This was followed with film producers wanting poster design to offer value for money by offering comedy, romance, action and melodrama all on one poster, as a promise of the different ingredients the film contained (Qureshi). And so, rather than highlighting the most compelling image to offer one strong key message, some producers preferred to consolidate every highlight from the film. In this case, the lure of variety kept people coming back for more (Qureshi).


Decoding the Bollywood Movie Poster, Irna Qureshi, Amar-Akbar Anthony

The 1970s introduced cut and paste techniques when posters began to resemble bulk-produced montages; images of actors were pasted into a collage, cramming as much as possible into the available poster space (Qureshi).  The collage aimed to offer a glimpse of different aspects of the film, for instance the cast in a multi-starrer like Amar Akbar Anthony (Manmohan Desai, 1977) which features three heroes as well as three heroines (Qureshi).

I believe the addition of this particular era of graphic design would help broaden the average person’s perspective to look beyond the North American conventions of design. It’s also valuable to be able to make comparisons between the standard variations of continents, and how design is communicated & understood in different ways depending on its external environment.



Works Cited

Qureshi, Irna. “Decoding the Bollywood Poster.” National Science & Media Museum Blog, 28 Feb. 2013, blog.scienceandmediamuseum.org.uk/decoding-the-bollywood-poster/.

Koichi Sato’s reinvention of Japanese tradition


Koichi Sato. The Modern Poster, New York. 1988.

Japanese designer Koichi Sato has a signature visual style that draws upon traditional Japanese imagery to produce a look that feels familiar yet foreign––for this reason he should be included in this course. His work seems to be begging you to compare it to other Japanese styles we’ve already come to know and love (think Ukiyo-e), while also merging it with familiar imagery from the Western canon of art.

Take The Modern Poster (above) as example. The subtleness of the gradient rectangle seems to mimic the flatness of woodblock prints, while perhaps also referencing the colour planes of Rothko. The typography takes on a distinctly art deco look with its geometry and even stroke weight. Sato has ditched the asymmetry of previous Japanese works and instead utilized a fully symmetrical composition that strictly adheres to a grid.


Koichi Sato. Shino-Dan: Kono Yoh Ni Watachi Wa Kiita. 1976

Rikuyo-sha Publishing Inc. made a collection of his works which I have luckily managed to snatch from the OCAD library before they closed. In the book jacket, it notes how Sato is able to use “pictures from the ‘Japanese picture memory’ … [to] convey messages intended to say traditional things in a new form” [I am unable to find an author for the book jacket blurb, but I have obviously included a citation of the full book]. Looking at Shino-Dan, his use of familiar Japanese imagery is fully obvious. The female subject matter, the flat planes of colour––all things we’ve seen before. But Sato doesn’t adhere to tradition in the way that, say William Morris would. Instead, he updates his imagery to reflect the present. The nude woman portrayed here seems to be weeping on the floor with a polaroid picture next to her––a huge departure from the traditional woman of Ukiyo-e. Much like The Modern Poster, Shino-Dan also features typography that takes on a more modern form because of the way it follows a grid.


Koichi Sato. Agamemnon. 1972.

Koichi Sato’s work would bring a modern look at Japanese prints that perfectly complements the lectures from the earlier weeks of this course. It opens a conversation between old and new styles, and shows how a country like Japan, with its strong sense of national identity that is rooted in its aesthetics of the past, is able to reinvent itself without a complete rejection of the traditional.


Koichi Sato. Promotional Poster for a Group of Flower Arrangers. 1985.

Work Cited:

Koichi, Sato. Koichi Sato. Rikuyosha, 1990.

Images from:

“Koichi Sato: MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art, www.moma.org/artists/5173

Japanese Graphic Designer – Katsumi Kamagata – by Hyeyoon Jung

Our textbook, Stephen J Eskilson’s Graphic Design: A New History provided significant and detailed information about the past and present Graphic Design Histories such as various artists, artworks and styles by each art period. Likewise, Eskilson gave some of the information about book, magazine and album designs but he puts more focus on the past period or the designs by either Europe or American designers. Therefore, adding a crafted book (for both adults and children) by Katsumi Komagata could be a valuable piece to learn for Graphic Designers.

Graphic Designer Katsumi Komagata
Graphic Designer Katsumi Komagata

Katsumi Komagata is a Japanese Graphic Designer who was born in Shizuoka, 1953 and studied Graphic Design at Nippon Design Centre in Japan. He loved to explore pictures and surrounding natures with simple design elements by using diverse colors. He is also known as the world-renowned for his delicate crafted books (Picturebookmakers). And also, He knows how to explore stories using paper as the paper itself has a sort of texture and he wanted the reader to feel the story by touching it with the color of the papers.

The Sounds carried by the Wind, Kattsumi Komata, One Stroke, Japan, 2009
The Sounds carried by the Wind, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2009
The Sounds carried by the Wind, Katsumi Komata, One Stroke, Japan, 2009
The Sounds carried by the Wind, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2009

The book called ‘The Sounds carried by the Wind’ is one of the great crafted books that he made and it clearly shows how it delivers a story about the colors in unique and graphical ways. This book is a very lovely book that is fun to see, touch and listen to as it stylizes various printing papers to maximize the texture and color of the paper. So that people can fee different touches and could appreciate the feeling of the story whenever the pages are flipped. The cries of cutely cut animals, the sound of nature passing through hills, and rivers and forest flutter by just touching and looking in this book. Therefore, this type of unique style even helped blind people to feel and understand the story.

When the Sun rises, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2015
When the Sun rises, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2015
When the Sun rises, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2015
When the Sun rises, Katsumi Komagata, One Stroke, Japan, 2015

‘When the Sun Rises’ is also a well-crafted book that Katsumi made and this mainly talks about the colors as well. According to Katsumi, he wanted to create a book for children who are having difficulties with the color vision.

Overall, Katsumi Komagata is the best Japanese Graphic Designer who knows how to deliver his stories to readers by colors and texture of the papers. If the old designs and artworks were more focused on the beauty or individuality of the work or the artists, now in 2020, the designers who show unique and creative expression are known as the good designers. However, most of the graphic Designers in 2020, work graphic designs digitally rather than using papers. Like Katsumi Komagata, it is a good opportunity to go back to paper and try to explore designs using colors and papers.




Work Cited

Picturebookmakers. “Katsumi Komagata.” Picturebook Makers, 25 Apr. 2016, blog.picturebookmakers.com/post/143421506971/katsumi-komagata.


Born to Break the Barriers – KASHIWA SATO and His Cross-border Design_ by Yunfangzhou Tan (Blog Post 2)


Born to Break the Barriers – KASHIWA SATO and His Cross-border Design


VISD2006-01 Graphic Design Hist-20th Cent 

Blog Post 2 – Who or what is missing from our textbook?

By Yunfangzhou Tan (# 3166753)


I clearly remember, last summer, while I was walking on the busy, crowded streets in Tokyo on my own, buildings in neon flesh lights mixed with traffic lights were everywhere around me. The convenient stores and clothes shops can be seen frequently on the streets in Japan. Remarkably, UNIQLO and 7-11 (Seven-Eleven) are respectively the world wide brands of groceries and casual wear in Japan, where places designed for young people. Customers usually recognize the logos or the icons of these kinds of stores and then walk in. So as the highly-recognizable icons of UNIQLO and 7-11 that are designed by Kashiwa Sato.


UNIQLO Logo, 2006.



7-11 Logo
7-11 (Seven-Eleven) Logo Rebranded, 2010.


Who is KASHIWA SATO? “Born in Tokyo in 1965. Graduated from the Department of Graphic Design, Faculty of Art and Design of Tama Art University. Spent 11 years at Hakuhodo and established his own creative studio, SAMURAI, in Japan in 2000. Kashiwa Sato, one of the world’s leading creative directors, delivers a fresh perspective of design to the world. From concept and communication strategy building to developing brand logos, Kashiwa’s ability as a brand architect to identity, elucidate, and visualize the essence of the subject is highly acclaimed in number of fields” (KASHIWA SATO – CREATIVE DIRECTOR).[1] “In a globalized market awash in digital information, Sato has honed an approach he calls ‘iconic branding.’ The idea is to identify a core message and design an icon-a potent anchor image or symbol-to convey that message succinctly and instantaneously across linguistic and cultural barriers” (Yumi, “Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic”).[5]


Kashiwa Sato Himself


“Logos can function as icons, of course, but so can products, buildings, and even architectural spaces. So, what makes any of these things an icon?” (Yumi, “Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic”).[5]


Kashiwa Sato took charge of all global branding communication activities for UNIQLO, a global leading fashion brand from Tokyo, starting with the opening of the flagship store in 2006, ‘UNIQLO SOHO NEW YORK.’ to realize the unique creative and design foundation of UNIQLO, he established the core brand” (KASHIWA SATO – CREATIVE DIRECTOR)[1]like GAP and H&M were making big gains globally” (Yumi, “Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic”).[5]


UNIQLO Design 1
UNIQLO Design 1, 2006.


UNIQLO Design 2
UNIQLO Design 2, 2006.


UNIQLO Design 3
UNIQLO Design 3, 2006.


UNIQLO Shopping Bag Sample
UNIQLO Shopping Bag Sample, 2006.


UNIQLO Poster Ad
UNIQLO Poster Ad., 2006.


UNIQULO World Wide
UNIQLO World Wide, 2006.


UNIQLO In Shanghai
UNIQLO In Shanghai 1.


UNIQLO In Shanghai 2
UNIQLO In Shanghai 2.


UNIQLO In NY, 2006.


UNIQLO in Paris
UNIQLO In Paris, 2006.


“In Sato’s minimalist approach to complex ideas, he draws inspiration from Japanese culture and traditions. When the head of UNIQLO asked him to design a logo for the business, Sato chose red and white, which he said instantly identifies UNIQLO as Japanese because it is reminiscent of the country’s flag” (Horn, “’A Strong Identity Is an Icon’ Says the Designer behind the Uniqlo Logo”). [2] “He then felt intuitively that katakana characters would work best as the key visual. He was after a kind of ‘exquisite intuitively’ that would elicit a double take from Japanese and foreign consumers alike. The fact that it ended up working just as envisioned on busy streets in cities around the world gave Sato confidence a boost. It proved that you could control a brand’s image very precisely through visual signals like font and color. For him, that experience was a powerful demonstration of the power of icons” (Yumi, “Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic”).[5] “‘super rationality with aesthetic consciousness,’ which summarizes UNIQLO’s value proposition to the world: high-quality products at affordable prices” (Williams, “Kashiwa Sato: Branding Is Limited by Tradition & Common Sense”). [4]


UT (T-shirt) Logo Of UNIQLO.
UT(T-shirt) Logo Of UNIQLO, 2006.


UNIQLO Products (Pantiess)
UNIQLO UT(T-shirt) Cans Packages, 2006.


UNIQLO UT(T-shirt) Store 1, 2006.


UNIQLO Store 2, 2006.


UNIQLO Store 3, 2006.


“It has been 40 years since 7-11 (Seven-Eleven) Japan was established. Kashiwa Sato built a design strategy with a focus on its private brand for the purpose of re-branding this global convenience store chain in 2010. Kashiwa repositioned Seven-Eleven Japan’s private brand, which was in its third year, not by the position of private” (KASHIWA SATO – CREATIVE DIRECTOR).[1]It’s the same approach he’s used for other high-profile clients like UNIQLO and NTT Docomo but the essence is to identify a core message and then design an icon that conveys that message across barriers” (Johnny, “Kashiwa Sato’s Rebranding for 7-Eleven Japan”).[3]


7-11 Porducts Overview
7-11 Rebranded Products Design Overview, 2010.


7-11 Porduct Packages (Sandwich)
7-11 Rebranded Product Packages (Sandwich), 2010.


7-11 Porduct Packages (Snacks)
7-11 Rebranded Product Packages (Snacks), 2010.


7-11 Porduct Packages (Drinks)
7-11 Rebranded Product Packages (Drinks), 2010.


7-11 Porduct Packages (Nuts)
7-11 Rebranded Product Packages (Nuts), 2010.


7-11 Porduct Packages (Salty Fish Onigiri)
7-11 Rebranded Product Package (Salty Fish Onigiri), 2010.


7-11 Cafe
7-11 Café Rebranded, 2010.


7-11 Porduct Package (Laundry Detergent)
7-11 Rebranded Product Packages (Laundry Detergent), 2010.


“‘I see everything through icons and iconic branding,’ Sato once said. And as he continues to create more instantly recognizable logos, most of the world will be seeing more of him” (Horn, “’A Strong Identity Is an Icon’ Says the Designer behind the Uniqlo Logo”). [2]


# Other Designs & Books by Kashiwa Sato:


SMAP Illustration
SMAP Illustration, 2000.


SMAP Vending Machines
SMAP Vending Machines, 2000.


Kirin Beer Poster
Kirin Gokunama Beer Series Poster, 2002 – 2005.


Kirin Beer Products
Kirin Gokunama Beer Series Cans Packages, 2002 – 2005.


Cupnoodles Museum Logo
Cupnoodles Museum Logo, 2011.


Cupnoodles Museum, Architecture
Cupnoodles Museum – Architecture In Yokohama, 2011.


The Nippon Foundation Logo
The Nippon Foundation Logo, 2012.


KASHIWA SATO'S Ultimate Method for Reaching the Essentials - Book 1, September 2007
KASHIWA SATO’S Ultimate Method for Reaching the Essentials – Book 1, Published in September, 2007.


BEYOND: KASHIWA SATO - Book 1, 2004 November
BEYOND: KASHIWA SATO – Book 1, Published in November, 2004.



Works Cited


Horn, Robert. “’A Strong Identity Is an Icon’ Says the Designer behind the Uniqlo Logo.” NATIONAL DESIGN CENTRE, 7 Mar. 2018, www.designsingapore.org/modules/design-news/a-strong-identity-is-an-icon-says-the-designer-behind-the-uniqlo-logo.html.[2]

Johnny. “Kashiwa Sato’s Rebranding for 7-Eleven Japan.” Spoon & Tamago, 18 June 2018, www.spoon-tamago.com/2018/06/18/kashiwa-satos-rebranding-for-7-eleven-japan/.[3]

Williams, Sarah. “Kashiwa Sato: Branding Is Limited by Tradition & Common Sense.” 816 NEW YORK816nyc.com/kashiwa-sato-brand-limited-common-sense/#.Xn7zG4hKiUk.[4]

Yumi, Kiyono. “Creative Director Satō Kashiwa: An Eye for the Iconic.” Nippon.com, 17 Mar. 2017, www.nippon.com/en/people/e00109/creative-director-sato-kashiwa-an-eye-for-the-iconic.html.[5]


“I wasn’t part of their conversation.”

Lesley Wilkinson


Elaine Lustig Cohen (1965) with a collection of hand made combs she displayed in her home (Gates).
Elaine Lustig Cohen (1965) with a collection of hand made combs she displayed in her home (Gates).

In Elaine Lustig Cohen’s (1927 – 2016) own words, she was “an all-purpose secretary, production assistant and draftsperson” for her husband Alvin Lustig ― the famed American graphic design pioneer. Elaine was only 28 years old when Alvin died at the age 40 due to complications from diabetes. Out of financial necessity, after Alvin’s death in 1955, Elaine launched her own career as a graphic designer. Towards the end of her life in 2015 she told ArtForum magazine:

“I had never designed anything on my own in my life” (Campbell). 

The graphic design world in 1950’s America was filled with male artists. This significant list included Paul Rand (American art director, graphic designer), Saul Bass (American graphic designer, Oscar – winning filmmaker), Milton Glaser (American graphic designer) and David Klein (American illustrator, graphic designer) and others. Many American graphic designers and illustrators owned their own studios or worked for advertising firms as art directors and designers. This is the world that Elaine Lustig Cohen found herself suddenly propelled into in 1955. 

“There were no female freelancers. There were many good female designers, but they either worked in fashion, publishing, or advertising. But these were salaried positions. I started in the ’50s, but it wasn’t until the ’60s that this became more commonplace” (Barron).

Her first graphic design project was to finish her late husband’s work on the new Seagram Building in New York City situated at 375 Park Avenue. The  38-floor skyscraper designed by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and American architect Philip Johnson was completed in 1958 and is still considered a testament to minimalist architecture today. Architect Philip Johnson asked Lustig Cohen to complete the signage project for Seagram’s which included graphic design signage for the address, the restaurants and other utilitarian functions inside and outside the building. Johnson was so impressed with Lustig Cohen’s work that he hired her to create advertisements and catalogues for the Seagram Buildings’ rental spaces in the years that followed.

Signage on the Seagram Building designed by Elaine Lustig Cohen.
Signage on the Seagram Building designed by Elaine Lustig Cohen (Gates).

Looking back on her life, Lustig Cohen reflects on her pioneering contributions to the world of graphic design in the 1950’s:

“During this period I was also a pioneer in the field of architectural identification, creating new type faces and signs for buildings by Philip Johnson and Eero Saarinen. The Seagram building at 375 Park was one of the first to establish a complete identity program throughout the building” (www.elainelustigcohen.com).

In the years, to follow Elaine Lustig Cohen would create over 150 book covers for New Directions and Meridian Books working with a diverse and extensive list of authors ― including playwrights, poets, critics and historians. Her designs drew on her belief in Modernist principles, and Lustig Cohen experimented with abstract forms, photography and text ― a contrast to the more literal approach of her contemporaries. 

Ludwig Cohen’s Book Jacket design for Meridian Books, Saul Bellow and Keith Botsford (editors), 1959. (www.elainelustigcohen.com)
Ludwig Cohen’s Book Jacket design for Meridian Books, Saul Bellow and Keith Botsford (editors), 1959. (www.elainelustigcohen.com)

In 2018 the Jewish Museum in New York City did a retrospective of Lustig Cohen’s work titled Masterpieces and Curiosities: Elaine Lustig Cohen. The exhibition’s catalogue described her early influences and design practice:

“For book jackets, she described her process as one of distillation in which she would identify the central ideas of the text and render them abstractly with bold lettering, expressive forms, and playfully collaged photographic elements” (The Jewish Museum).

Between 1956 and 1970 the breadth and width of her work  was astonishing. She designed company logos, museum and art gallery catalogues, advertisements and furniture.

Logos, Water Resources Council, 1957
Water Resources Council, Logo, 1957 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)

Lustig Cohen’s other passion was painting and  later in life she combined her love of design, photography and painting to create a series of collage works.  Her series of portraits created in 2008-2009 included portrayals of Wassily Kadinsky, John Heartfield, Alexander Rodchenko and Paul Klee.

Elaine Lustig Cohen’s portrait of Heartfield, 2008 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)
Elaine Lustig Cohen’s portrait of Heartfield, 2008 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)

The range and variety of Lustig Cohen’s work is staggering and her influence was wide reaching across disciplines. For this reason it is hard to categorize Elaine Lustig Cohen. This only strengthens her legacy as a multitalented, multidisciplinary artist. She paved the way for her female peers and the next generation of female graphic designers and artists in America. 

“There were certainly many male designers that didn’t take me seriously. I wasn’t part of their conversation.” (Barron)

Logos, Federal Aviation Agency, 1962 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)
Federal Aviation Agency, Logo, 1962 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)

Therefore, in this present and “different” time of 2020, this female pioneer of 1950’s American graphic design should be taken “seriously” and finally be part of the “conversation” ― recognized in graphic design text books and studied by art students around the world.

Stephen J. Eskilson’s next and fourth edition of Graphic Design  A New History must include Elaine Lustig Cohen and her artistry ―  finally making her part of his “conversation!” Eskilson should start this “conversation” in Chapter 8  The Triumph of the International Style under Eskilson’s heading on page 287 ― American Innovators. With sixty years of contribution to graphic design and the larger world of American art, Elaine Lustig Cohen would appear next to her husband ― Alvin Lustig on page 288. Lustig Cohen’s caliber and volume of work, and her influence in paving the way for female graphic designers, earns her a place in the written history of women artists, where they are sadly under represented.


Works Cited

Barron, Michael, Elaine Lustig Cohen by Michael Barron,  BOMB Magazine, May 8, 2013. https://www.bombmagazine.org. Accessed March 31, 2020.

Campbell, Andrianna, Elaine Lustig Cohen reflects on her career and exhibition at the Glass House, Artforum, August 11, 2015. https://www.artforum.com. Accessed March 30, 2020.

Eskilson, Stephen J., Graphic Design A New History, Third Edition, Yale University Press, 2007 and 2019.

Gates, Anita, Elaine Lustig Cohen, Designer Who Left Her Mark Everywhere, Dies at 89, New York Times, October 7, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com. Accessed March 31, 2020.

Lustig Cohen, Elaine,https://www.elainelustigcohen.com. Accessed March 30 & 31, 2020.

The Jewish Museum, “Wall Text for Elaine Lustig Cohen Exhibition at the Jewish Museum”, https://www.thejewishmuseum.org. Accessed March 29, 2020.


 Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, Inc., Logo, 1958 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)
Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, Inc., Logo, 1958 (www.elainelustigcohen.com)

Modern Movie Poster Designer- Huang Hai

Huang Hai
Huang Hai

Huang Hai, One of the most famous graphic designer and poster designer in China, was born in 1975. His artwork was focusing on movie posters, and he always combined the movies’ elements and themes, whether they are Chinese movies or foreign movies, with the Chinese elements and culture that the consumers would’ve like together very well. For example, the poster he designed for the movie MuLan has a reflection of Chinese elements all over the image, and it shows the character of the movie as well. The helmet shows both the story of the movie and the identity of MuLan, however, the lip below the helmet reflect the conflict in the story and has a strong contrast with the helmet. In addition, the choose of background colour and texture show the Chinese element as well. The scale of each elements also help to create the impact to the viewer. 

MuLan Poster
MuLan Poster

In 2016, Huang Hai designer a series of poster for a documentary called Masters In The Forbidde City, which shows the process of how the experts fixed the relics and objects they discovered. In these posters, there are workers fixing the broken objects on every broken parts of the objects, and they all blend in with the objects really well. Huang also paid a lot attention on the background texture, like the silk texture on the cloth, and the texture of paper on the painting, in order to let the viewers immerse in the scene.

Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster
Masters In The Forbidde City Poster

TaiChi is a movie that describes the conflict between traditional Chinese culture and the Western industry. Thus, the poster need to express the idea of the impact of two different culture, whether they are stay in harmony or competing with each other. Huang has chose the TaiChi symbol, which is the circle with half black ad half white in it, and add mechanical structures that represent modernization in order to show the combination of them, which express the theme of the movie.

TaiChi movie poster
TaiChi movie poster

Not only shows the theme of movie in a direct way, Huang Hai is also good at use conception and abstraction to tell a movie. In movies The Golden Era and The Grandmaster, he was focusing on the rendering of the atmosphere and the conception. Take The Grandmaster as the example, the poster is so clean that only a few elements are in the center of the image. He chose to only put the shadows of the characters on the poster to show the epic battle between two grandmasters in a conceptual way to make the viewers feel the movie.

The Golden Era Movie Poster
The Golden Era Movie Poster
The Grandmaster Movie Poster
The Grandmaster Movie Poster

Kohei Sugiura-Japanese Heretical Designer By Songshan Guo

Kohei Sugiura, born in Tokyo, graduate from Tokyo University of Arts’ department of architecture in 1955. At the beginning, he was the architectural designer, in his career, the background of architectural designer give him an unique thinking in his design. Also, Kohei Sugira had experiment of teaching in the Ulm School of Design in 1964 and 1967 in German. His design style include many elements that from Western, it changed the mysterious expression which always been used in Japanese design, but added the information theory, sign theory that were abstract. In this case, his work was regarded as heresy by traditional Japanese designer.

Kohei Sugiura made the many designs for book, magazine and poster, also he wrote the book about space, culture, spirit. Those elements we can easy find them in his designs. Also, his design philosophy are chaos and complex, it totally different with the most Japanese design philosophy which is minimalism.


Object Yu, Publishe: Kosakusha. 1979.

In this magazine “Yu”, the Buddha’s body show up, from the colour and texture, it looks very tradition and religious, but the other elements in there were scientific, also it have some signs. The mixing of the element between religion and science, culture and modern, East and West.

Also, the display of type text is one feature of Kohei Sugiura. He try to compress the information as much as he can and put them into the cover page. He even tried to put a whole short novel into the cover page.


Object Yu, Publishe: Kosakusha. 1975.

Kohei Sugiura think books are three-dimensional architecture, and cover page should not be flat. As education from department of architecture, he will use architectural designer’s view to see the graphic design. At that time, most of designer were painter, so the idea from architecture made Kohei Sugiura become unique in Japan. He created the sense of space in design by playing with text composition, the size of text, also the scatter perspective.

When Kohei Sugiura talking about the way he observe, he mention that observation is not only about watching by eyes, but you can also tasting by mouth, hearing by ears, smelling by nose and feeling by tongue. He would using those feeling  in his design. In his work, he tried to show the thing which is invisible, such as the sound, in the cover showed below, Kohei Sugiura transform the shape of letter, the letter looks like the symbol, and the mouth on the back made the sense of space, also it made this design become more impactive.


Object Yu, Publishe: Kosakusha. 1978.

Kohei Sugiura’s design philosophy is unique and his works have strong personal style,  he would be added in textbook.


Kashiwagi, Hiroshi. “Sugiura, Kohei.” Oxford Art Online, 2003.          https://doi.org/10.1093/gao/9781884446054.article.t082241.

Kōhei, Sugiura, and Mycah Braxton. “Interview with Sugiura Kōhei (2013).” Review of Japanese Culture and Society 29, no. 1 (2017): 289–93. https://doi.org/10.1353/roj.2017.0019.

Monden, Sonoko. “Sugiura, Kohei 杉浦康平 (1932–).” The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design, 2016. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781472596154-bed-s134.

Shigeo Fukuda

    Shigeo Fukuda was born on February 4, 1932, and died on January 11, 2009, was a Japanese sculptor, medallist, graphic artist, and poster designer. He is significant for the creation of optical illusions, which is often shown in his art, portraying deception as well as communicating peace and harmony. Moreover, Fukuda is the first Japanese designer to be inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame. Fukuda’s work is recognizable for its simplicity and use of visual illusions. He’s interested in the principles of Swiss design during university has shaped his design style afterward.

    Fukuda’s design Victory 1945 (fig 1) is very well known. The overall imagery is very simple and clean. Where it depicts a gun firing but having the bullet facing back. The design communicates the message of the absurdity of war and the Japanese government during the second world war. Furthermore, the caption on the upper left emphasizes the event and message, making the design very straight forward to the viewers. Victory 1945 won Fukuda the grand prize of the Warsaw Poster Contest in 1975, a competition whose proceeds helped fun the Peace Fund Movement. Another design by Fukuda is a series of posters created to celebrate Earth Day, created in 1982. The first poster within the Happy Earth Day (fig 2) posters features the Earth as a seed opening against a solid sea-blue background. The second shows an axe set on the ground, and having a small branch sprouting on the handle. The third poster features the earth once again, but having two united arms holding, indicating the message of peace. The last poster shows a sapling and having the continents as leaves. These posters use simple and universal subjects to communicate a significant message. Thus showing his significance as a graphic designer who boldly uses principles of design and turning them into influential messages. Inherited from his influential designs, Fukuda’s commercial graphic design is also simple and playful. His advertisement poster for UCC Ueshima Coffee (fig 3) uses optical illusions, where the gap between the repetitive men’s arms creates the women’s and vise versa.

    Overall, Shigeo Fukuda is an influential graphic designer, where his work “collapses all cultural and linguistic barriers with his universally recognizable style”(Famous Graphic Designer 2018). As well as his “sense of high moral responsibility as a graphic designer and the worldly causes his work mirrored and embraced is the testament of that”(Famous Graphic Designer 2018). Therefore, his qualities as a graphic designer prove that he qualifies and should be featured in the graphic design textbook.

Fig .1 Shigeo Fukuda, Victory 1945, 1975.
Fig .1 Shigeo Fukuda, Victory 1945, 1975.
Fig.2  Shigeo Fukuda, Happy Earth Day, 1982.
Fig.2 Shigeo Fukuda, Happy Earth Day, 1982.
Fig. 3 Shigeo Fukuda, poster for UCC Ueshima Coffee.
Fig. 3 Shigeo Fukuda, Poster for UCC Ueshima Coffee.

Work Cited:

  1. “Shigeo Fukuda: Biography, Designs and Facts.” Famous Graphic Designers, www.famousgraphicdesigners.org/shigeo-fukuda.

Where are the Sports Logos? – Tiffany Chin

An area of graphic design omitted from Graphic Design: A New History are sports team logos. Sports team logos are an important area of recent graphic design because they are an integral element of global culture, and are a reflection of a time period’s values. In contrast to design works such as advertisement posters and corporate logos, athletics are universally understood without language or cultural barriers. For instance, the dancers in La Goulue by Toulouse-Lautrec (see fig. 1) indicate a dance performance, however the text may be misconstrued by illiterate, or non-French viewers. Similarly, many corporate identities, such as the FedEx logo (see fig. 2), use text which may not be recognizable to individuals who do not communicate in English. 

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, 1891
Fig. 1. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, 1891
Linden Leader & Landor Associates, FedEx Logo, 1994
Fig. 2. Linden Leader & Landor Associates, FedEx Logo, 1994

On the other hand, sports teams combine imagery and text to establish an easily recognizable identity for all audiences. For example, the Chicago Bulls utilizes impactful slab serif type to indicate the team name, and an icon of striking red raging bull (see fig. 3). The Bulls’ logo is easily identifiable without text due to the icon’s simplicity, readability, and prominent colour. Furthermore, sports logos establish communities amongst viewers where fanbases, regardless of culture, congregate through symbols recognized throughout the world. The universality of sports logos was proven during the 2019 NBA playoffs when the Toronto Raptors emblem became a household image. During the playoffs, the Raptors’ centre court design (see fig. 4) featured a clawed basketball without text. Although the team’s name was omitted from the design, the image was quickly absorbed by an international audience, including viewers who previously refrained from indulging in sports. A team’s logo also acts as a city’s identity where designs, such as the Lakers’ logo (see fig. 5), are emotionally embedded into the fanbase and perceptions of the area from outsiders (Newcomb).

Dean P. Wessel, Chicago Bulls Logo, 1966
Fig. 3. Dean P. Wessel, Chicago Bulls Logo, 1966
Sid Lee, Toronto Raptors Logo, 2015
Fig. 4. Sid Lee, Toronto Raptors Logo, 2015
Los Angeles Lakers Logo, 1976
Fig. 5. Los Angeles Lakers Logo, 1976

In addition to international communities created through sports logos, team designs also reflect the societal values of a given time period. Many North American sports teams, such as the Cleveland Indians have previously endorsed figures of Native American chiefs as mascots (see fig. 6). For the Cleveland Indians, the team replaced the chief image with the letter “C” in 2014 to reflect the urgency to respect and truthfully represent all ethnic groups within modern society (Hassiotis). Furthermore, team designs are adjusted to parallel changes in the realm of graphic design. During the 1960s, the Atlanta Hawks logo employed a personified hawk with illustrative qualities (see fig. 7). Similarly, cereal boxes from the same time period were also illustrated with dynamic human qualities (see fig. 8). In the next decade, the Hawks progressed to a streamlined logo with organic curves common in 1970s design. Currently, the Hawks’ emblem reflects modern logo design by using flat planes of colour, easily recognizable forms, and minimal text. Teams, such as the Toronto Raptors (see fig. 9), also revive previous designs to evoke nostalgia of past time periods, and emotional responses to the city’s history (Brautigan).

Cleveland Indians Logo History, Image from Sportslogos.net
Fig. 6. Cleveland Indians Logo History, Image from Sportslogos.net
Fig. 7. Atlanta Hawks Logos
Fig. 7. Atlanta Hawks Logos
Fig. 8. Frosty O's Cereal Box, 1960s
Fig. 8. Frosty O’s Cereal Box, 1960s
Fig. 9. Tom O'Grady, Toronto Raptors Logo, 1993
Fig. 9. Tom O’Grady, Toronto Raptors Logo, 1993

Works Cited

Brautigan, Bailey. “How To Design (Or Redesign) A Sports Logo.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 7 Apr. 2016, www.forbes.com/sites/baileybrautigan/2016/04/07/how-to-redesign-a-sports-logo/#3730442b442e.

Hassiotis, Christopher. “American Indian Sports Logos Do Real Damage, New Study Finds.” HowStuffWorks, HowStuffWorks, 15 Apr. 2016, history.howstuffworks.com/american-history/american-indian-sports-logos-stereotypes.htm.

Newcomb, Tim. “Why Sports Logos Are So Important.” Time, Time, 18 Oct. 2012, keepingscore.blogs.time.com/2012/10/18/why-sports-logos-are-so-important/.