30 Vintage Japan Illustrations – 1950s-1970s

“It doesn’t occur to most people that everything is designed — that every building and everything they touch in the world is designed” – Bill Moggridge

 

Poster for a fashion show presenting paper dresses. From Graphis Annual 68/69.

Poster for a fashion show presenting paper dresses. From Graphis Annual 68/69.

 

“Everything that is not made by nature is designed by someone…

“Graphic design needs your willing mental participation, even if it’s subconscious. Graphic design is message-sending into the brain. It is a cerebral experience, not a physical one. Architecture wants you to walk through it. Industrial design takes your hand (or other body parts) to appreciate it. Fashion makes you put it on. But Graphic design is purely a head trip, from your eyes to your mind ” – Chip Kidd

 

1936 poster for Nikke Clothing by Gihachiro Okuyama

1936 poster for Nikke Clothing by Gihachiro Okuyama

Poster for an exhibition of the artist's work. Designer, Kazumasa Nagai. From Graphis Annual 70/71.

Poster for an exhibition of the artist’s work. Designer, Kazumasa Nagai. From Graphis Annual 70/71.

Theatre poster, Bronze medal for a cultural poster at the Poster Biennale in Warsaw 1972. Designer Ikko Tanaka.

Theatre poster, Bronze medal for a cultural poster at the Poster Biennale in Warsaw 1972. Designer Ikko Tanaka.

Silkscreen exhibition poster for the Nagasaki Prefecture. Designer, Hisami Kunitake.

Silkscreen exhibition poster for the Nagasaki Prefecture. Designer, Hisami Kunitake.

Illustration detail from a calendar designed by the artist as a gift to friends. Designer Hiroshi Ohchi.

Illustration detail from a calendar designed by the artist as a gift to friends. Designer Hiroshi Ohchi.

Theatre poster (Selected Fables). Designer Ikko Tanaka. From Graphis Posters 73.

Theatre poster (Selected Fables). Designer Ikko Tanaka. From Graphis Posters 73.

  Complete cover of a large-format book about Edo, as Tokly was formerly called. Designer Tadanori Yoko


Complete cover of a large-format book about Edo, as Tokly was formerly called. Designer Tadanori Yoko

Poster for an exhibition in the Matsuya Department Store, Tokyo. From Graphis Annual 66/67

Poster for an exhibition in the Matsuya Department Store, Tokyo. From Graphis Annual 66/67

Cover for a magazine, Advertising Art. From Graphis 88, 1960.

Cover for a magazine, Advertising Art. From Graphis 88, 1960.

Cover of Industrial Art News monthly review. From Graphis Annual 60/61.

Cover of Industrial Art News monthly review. From Graphis Annual 60/61.

Poster for an international exhibition of packaging held in Tokyo. From Graphis Annual 61/62.

Poster for an international exhibition of packaging held in Tokyo. From Graphis Annual 61/62.

Tadashi Ohashi advert for Meiji Caramels 1957

Tadashi Ohashi advert for Meiji Caramels 1957

Poster for an association to combat cancer. From Graphis Annual 65/66.

Poster for an association to combat cancer. From Graphis Annual 65/66.

Tourist poster for the Iki-Tsushima Tourist Association. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Tourist poster for the Iki-Tsushima Tourist Association. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Tadashi Ohashi advert for Meiji Caramels 1956

Tadashi Ohashi advert for Meiji Caramels 1956

Poster for a theatrical performance. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Poster for a theatrical performance. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

1966 poster for a psychiatry exhibition. From Graphis Annual 67/68.

1966 poster for a psychiatry exhibition. From Graphis Annual 67/68.

Cover of a Japanese magazine, Collection of Stories, published by Nihon-Sha. From Graphis Annual 67/68.

Cover of a Japanese magazine, Collection of Stories, published by Nihon-Sha. From Graphis Annual 67/68.

Poster for an American best-seller published by Kodansha Ltd. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Poster for an American best-seller published by Kodansha Ltd. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Poster for a Japanese men's weekly. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Poster for a Japanese men’s weekly. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

  Poster for Expo '70 in Osaka. From Graphis Annual 69/70.


Poster for Expo ’70 in Osaka. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Susumu Eguchi Illustration  Poster for a children's science exhibition in the Tobu department store. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Susumu Eguchi Illustration
Poster for a children’s science exhibition in the Tobu department store. From Graphis Annual 69/70.

Tadashi Nadamoto Illustration  Concert poster for Osaka Laborers' Musical Union. From Graphis Annual 64/65.

Tadashi Nadamoto Illustration
Concert poster for Osaka Laborers’ Musical Union. From Graphis Annual 64/65.

Fukuda Shigeo Illustration  Poster for children's clothing made by Nippon Rayon Co. Ltd. From Graphis Annual 66/67.

Fukuda Shigeo Illustration
Poster for children’s clothing made by Nippon Rayon Co. Ltd.
From Graphis Annual 66/67.

Hisami Kunitake Illustration  Tourist poster for an exhibition of graphic design. From Graphis Annual 68/69.

Hisami Kunitake Illustration
Tourist poster for an exhibition of graphic design. From Graphis Annual 68/69.

Tadashi Ohashi Illustration  Silk screen poster for milk chocolate, Japan. From Graphis Annual 57/58.

Tadashi Ohashi Illustration
Silk screen poster for milk chocolate, Japan. From Graphis Annual 57/58.

Hiroshi Oichi Illustration  Poster for Japan Airlines. From Graphis Annual 56/57.

Hiroshi Oichi Illustration
Poster for Japan Airlines. From Graphis Annual 56/57.

Poster for drinks produced by the Suntory distillery and brewery. Designer Kenichi Matsunaga. From Graphis Posters 73. Via Aqua-Velvet.

Poster for drinks produced by the Suntory distillery and brewery. Designer Kenichi Matsunaga. From Graphis Posters 73. Via Aqua-Velvet.

Spotter: Sandi Vincent