Since the beginning of the 21st century, our society has been undergoing fundamental transformation. In times where yesterday’s commonsense doesn’t apply anymore, and it is difficult to predict what tomorrow may bring, it is as if all kinds of things in various fields are bumping against walls while searching for an exit. Against this backdrop, the role a graphic designer is expected to play has changed significantly, as people have begun to place their hopes on visual communication as a conflict-resolution tool.
Graphic designers are able to read the times, and produce what is necessary according to their interpretation of contemporary society’s needs. With this occupational ability, graphic designers have secured themselves a place in society for wide-ranging work beyond purely print media.
The involvement of graphic designers in urban planning and regional vitalization has become quite common all across the country. Graphic sensitivity is recently being utilized in the fields of industrial design and architecture as well, and the common “visual” language has opened the door on Japanese graphic design across national borders and out into the world.
The Japan Graphic Designers Association Inc. (JAGDA) was established in 1978 under strong leadership of the late Yusaku Kamekura, who built the foundation for the postwar graphic design in Japan with such masterpieces as posters for Tokyo Olympics. Today it is the only nationwide graphic design organization in Japan with approximately 3,000 members. Its broad activities include the publication of yearbooks, the hosting of exhibitions and symposia, design education, regional development, and the protection of members’ rights and welfare. Through such activities, JAGDA has been contributing to the development of graphic design in Japan, and in the future we are going to support the dynamic work of genre- and border-crossing designers with further broadened horizons. We live in times in which the power of design has become an elemental force.