Ikko Tanaka (1930-2002) is one of the major names in Japan graphic design world who managed to link the traditional elements of Japanese Culture with visual language of modernism. His design works seem to be influenced by Suprematism‘s simple geometric shapes and bright colors fused with traditional elements of Japanese culture such as Japanese calligraphy. His works consists of posters, books, lettering and packaging design, as well as the corporate identity of many Japanese and international groups, such as Muji, but also includes experimental forms of calligraphy and interior design.
After graduating from the City College of Fine Arts in Kyoto in 1950, Tanaka began his career as textile designer for a local firm, Kanebo Ltd. (1950-2). He then moved into graphic design, first for the Sankei Press (1952-7) and then the Nippon Design Centre in Tokyo (1960-3). He was founder and director of the Tanaka Design Atelier in Tokyo (1963-76) and of the Ikko Tanaka Design Studio from 1976. His career has been marked by an extensive series of art directorships for a wide variety of clients and projects ranging from environmental city planning to films and from exposition and event design to corporate histories. He has received many awards including the Mainichi Design Award (1954, 1966, and 1973), the Tokyo Art Directors Club Medal (fourteen times between 1957 and 1985) and the Purple Ribbon Award from the Emperor of Japan (1995).