Shigeo Fukuda

photo

“I believe that in design, 30% dignity, 20% beauty and 50% absurdity are necessary. Rather than catering to the design sensitivity of the general public, there is advancement in design if people are left to feel satisfied with their own superiority, by entrapping them with visual illusion.”

—Shigeo Fukuda

Graphic Design: A New History is a great textbook. Throughout the book, it covers a lot of the aspects all over the world. As a child, I grew up under an deastern cultural environment. I found the aesthetics between western and eastern differences fascinating after I studied aboard. One thing to improve in the next edition can includes some famous art influencers from the eastern culture. Shigeo Fukuda is one of my favourite graphic designers and illustrators. Born in 1932 in Tokyo, Japan, Fukuda came from a family primarily employed as toy makers. Early in his adulthood he had an interest in the principles of Swiss design and starting in 1956 he attended the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. The first Japanese designer to be inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, his work is recognizable for its simplicity and use of visual illusions.

Much of his work was designed to make a social impact rather than a commercial one and he was a strong advocate for pacifism and environmentalism. Shigeo Fukuda’s sense of high moral responsibility as a graphic designer is undertaken with firm conviction. His work effectively mirrors and embraces the worldly causes he believes in. Coupled with his fine flair for color and layout, along with advanced Japanese reproduction techniques, Fukuda always manages to get his points across. His 1982 Happy Earth Day posters are prime examples. One is a drawing of an upside-down axe, the tool of destruction spoiling the earth’s wilderness. The wooden handle, ironically, sprouts a branch of its own. Fukuda’s pro-environmental concepts are indeed abstract, yet globally familiar

happy-earth-day

1982 Earth Day poster

Contrary to Western styles of expression, Japanese communication is more emotional than rational. Such emotion is profoundly linked to art. Fukuda dramatically shatters all cultural and linguistic barriers with his universally recognizable style. Shigeo Fukuda’s sense of high moral responsibility as a graphic designer is undertaken with firm conviction. His work effectively mirrors and embraces the worldly causes he believes in. Coupled with his fine flair for colour and layout, along with advanced Japanese reproduction techniques, Fukuda always manages to get his points across. By using simple shapes and highly contrasted colours, Fukuda created multiple posters that make influences globally. Shigeo Fukuda, Japan’s Houdini of Design, is a welcome part of the shifting form westen to eastern. His visual originality and deep dedication to worthwhile causes help keep the sun shining brightly over our ever changing, complex world.

victory      legs

Victory 1945,  1975.                     Illustration work


Work Cited

Designer Focus: Shigeo Fukuda

http://www.designishistory.com/1960/shigeo-fukuda/

Shigeo Fukuda