Selection Process of the 22nd Yusaku Kamekura Design Award


Award Winner: Atsuki Kikuchi


Awarded Work: Book design of ceramic artist’s exhibition catalogu

“Primitive and Graceful: The Ceramic Artistry of Shoji Kamoda” (cl: Musée Tomo)


Publication: “Graphic Design in Japan 2020”

(published on 20 July 2020 / distributed by Rikuyosha)


Exhibition: The 22nd Yusaku Kamekura Design Award Exhibition “Atsuki Kikuchi 2020

Monday 20 July to Wednesday 2 September 2020 at Creation Gallery G8

Selection Process of the 22nd Yusaku Kamekura Design Award

The Yusaku Kamekura Design Award was established in 1999 to commemorate the achievements of Yusaku Kamekura (1915–1997), JAGDA’s first president, and to contribute to the ongoing development of graphic design. The award was made possible through a generous donation from Mr. Kamekura’s family. It is presented each year to the work judged most outstanding among all entries in the JAGDA Annual, regardless of category.


Preliminary nominations for the award were made in November and December 2019 by the 28 members of the JAGDA Annual Screening Committee. Their selections were made from among the 1,915 works entered in the competition to be included in the 2020 edition of the JAGDA Annual: “Graphic Design in Japan.” To begin, from among all works nominated for JAGDA Awards in their respective categories, the committee extracted 69 entries garnering the highest numbers of votes. Excluded at this time were 36 works by 13 designers who had previously received the award (Katsumi Asaba, Kenya Hara, Kazunari Hattori, Yoshiaki Irobe, Kaoru Kasai, Shin Matsunaga, Kazumasa Nagai, Masayoshi Nakajo, Norio Nakamura, Taku Satoh, Katsuhiko Shibuya, Ryosuke Uehara and Yoshie Watanabe). The committee members next voted for the works they felt deserving of the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, with each member having a total of 5 votes. All eligible works were displayed anonymously, and committee members were barred from voting for their own works. This stage of the selection process resulted in a list of 22 multiple-vote receiving works by 15 individual designers and 1 group.
The final selection was conducted on December 20, 2019 by the 11 members of the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award Selection Committee. In compliance with the rule that limits one nominated work per designer (or group), designers having multiple preliminary nominations were ultimately nominated for the work, or series of works on the same theme, selected by majority vote by the Selection Committee. Once the final 16 nominations were decided, the voting took place anonymously with each member of the Selection Committee having the right to cast up to 3 votes. The 2 works that received the most votes (6 or more) – by Atsuki Kikuchi and Haruka Misawa – were designated as the finalists. A final vote was then taken, and Atsuki Kikuchi won with 7 votes.

“Primitive and Graceful: The Ceramic Artistry of Shoji Kamoda,” the work for which Mr. Kikuchi was presented the Yusaku Kamekura Design Award, is a catalogue for an exhibition held at Musée Tomo. Shoji Kamoda was a highly acclaimed ceramic artist who flourished in the second half of the 20th century, until his premature death in 1983 at the age of 49. The judges praised Mr. Kikuchi’s book design for its comprehensive strengths in terms of editing, photography, printing and binding: one judge describing the totality of design as “flawless.” Mr. Kikuchi was further lauded for the way he clearly elucidated what the reader should glean about Kamoda’s works within the catalogue’s overall context. Another judge commented that while collections of an artist’s works often tend to be overblown, the catalogue designed by Mr. Kikuchi conveys precisely, without embellishment, who Shoji Kamoda was.

Haruka Misawa’s runner-up work, spatial design for Buddhist memorial service consisting of small paper constructions, was praised for the way her new design brilliantly achieved the image of lotus blossoms scattering gently. One judge lauded how Ms. Misawa expanded the limits of graphic design by creating a spatial realm in its entirety.

Nominated Works

Noriaki Hayashi: university student recruitment posters
Yoko Inoue: works for own solo exhibition
Koji Iyama: spatial design for masking tape exhibitions
Mitsuki Kashiwagi: tools and logo for ship interior design company
Atsuki Kikuchi: book design of ceramic artist’s exhibition catalogue
Keita Kojima : noncommissioned work
Haruka Misawa: spatial design for Buddhist memorial service
Manabu Mizuno: branding for variety shop
Hiroaki Nagai: book design for collection of photographer’s works
Kazufumi Nagai: logo of producer of sleep solutions
Takeo Nakano: spatial design for graphic designer’s solo exhibition
Shingo Noma: tools, fixtures and shop design for designer brand
Norito Shinmura / Kosuke Niwano: magazine ads for campgrounds
Yui Takada: works for own solo exhibition
Ryoji Tanaka: website to commemorate anniversary of Important Cultural Property
Seri Tanaka: branding for sake brewery


*More details about selection process of “Graphic Design in Japan 2020”