Selection Process of the JAGDA New Designer Awards 2021


Award Winners



Graphic Design in Japan 2021” (June 2021)


Award Ceremony

JAGDA General Assembly on 30 June 2021 in Tokyo

Tokyo | Tuesday 11 May – Wednesday 16 June 2021 | Creation Gallery G8

Shiga | Tuesday 7 – Saturday 25 September 2021 | Gallery Art Site, Seian Art Center, Seian University of Art and Design

Aichi | Wednesday 24 – Monday 29 November 2021 | Design Gallery, International Design Center Nagoya
Niigata | Saturday 4 – Sunday 12 December 2021 | Gallery, The Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art

Osaka | Monday 24 January – Thursday 3 February 2022 | Paper Voice Osaka

Selection Process

The JAGDA New Designer Award was established in 1983 with the goals of calling attention to outstanding young designers and energizing the realm of graphic design. The award winners – normally no more than 3 – are selected each year from among all entrants who have not reached their 40th birthday as of the end of October of the judging year.

This year 139 designers with works featured in the 2021 JAGDA Annual qualified as “new designers” (JAGDA members under age 40 as of October 31, 2020). Among these, a first round of voting was held for the 40 individuals who had 3 or more featured works in total selected in the 10 categories (2 or more if the Integrated Design category was included). The featured works of each designer were grouped together at the judging session, and all names were kept anonymous. 

In this first round, the 28 members of the Selection Committee in attendance were permitted to cast up to 7 votes in total, but they were not required to use up their quota. The outcome showed 11 individuals garnering 7 or more votes, qualifying them as the award nominees.

The second round of voting was then conducted, this time with each judge casting 3 votes in total (without the option of not casting all allotted votes). Again, the designers’ names were kept anonymous. In this round each committee member indicated his or her choices for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places; a 1st-place vote was worth 3 points, 2nd place 2 points, and 3rd place 1 point. The top 4 point getters were Ryuichi Kawajiri (34 points/17 votes), Toru Kase (30 points/12 votes), Arata Kubota (22 points/11 votes) and Ayaka Shimizu (20 points/9 votes). After discussions, the judges decided to cast votes again to determine which designer was deserving of 3rd place, Mr. Kubota or Ms. Shimizu. This time each judge cast 1 vote, resulting in Mr. Kubota garnering 15 votes to Ms. Shimizu’s 13. The 2021 JAGDA New Designer Awards were thus bestowed on Ryuichi Kawajiri, Toru Kase and Arata Kubota.