Poster for Nikon (1957) by Yusaku Kamekura

Poster for Nikon, 1957

Yusaku Kamekura (1915-1997), a Japanese graphic designer, was a pivotal player in postwar Japanese graphic design. His dominance in the field earned him the moniker “Boss.”

Yusaku Kamekura’s poster emphasises the brilliance and clarity attained with the Nikon lens and the technical perfection of his client’s camera by using brilliant optical patterns and powerful, white letter-forms against an intensely dark background. In 1954, Kamekura created his first poster for Nikon, marking the start of a long and fruitful collaboration. He helped shape the company’s image with a comprehensive graphic programme that included posters, packaging, signs, and logos. While graphic designers and corporate clients in the West, such as Giovanni Pintori with Olivetti (no. 215) and Paul Rand with IBM (no. 381), were already producing coherent visual identification programmes, Kamekura and Nikon were the first in postwar Japan to develop this kind of sympathetic relationship. Nikon provided Kamekura with the opportunity to create a modern and fresh public image, which he later credited with helping him build his artistic personality. This poster, which was published in Graphis Annual in 1957, brought Kamekura and Japanese graphic design to international recognition, followed by the programme Kamekura designed for the Tokyo Olympics only a few years later.

Sources

Hiesinger, K. B., & Marcus, G. H. (1995). Landmarks of twentieth-century design: an illustrated handbook. Abbeville Press.

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