Long before Noma Bar cut out his first silhouette, Japanese designer Shigeo Fukuda was creating startlingly bare poster designs of logo-like simplicity, often bitingly satirical in their content and always expertly composed. Like Escher before him, Fukuda’s work experiments boldly with perspective, negative space and the visual and geometric interplay between elements on the page, often disorientating the viewer with its constructed depth and irregular visual planes. Unlike Escher however, his creations utilise a minimal, considered line occasionally punctuated with infill.
Fukuda’s trademark style developed from an early interest in Swiss graphic design and its stark contrast to contemporary Japanese work. The limited colour palettes and reductive line work remained at the heart of his work until his death in 2009. Testament to Fukuda’s skill was his induction into the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame in 1987 – the first Japanese designer to be awarded such an honour – who described him as “Japan’s consummate visual communicator.”
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