Archive for the ‘Calligraphy’ Category

Ikko Tanaka

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).



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Arabic Calligraphy

After last lecture on ideograms and Chinese / Japanese calligraphy in history of visual communication class, I have decided to look up more on the subject.

Arabic calligraphy, closely related to Islam, was highly revered and respected, being the primary means to preserve and reproduce Qur’an.  Writing the words of Prophet Muhammad and God as well as common Islamic phrases expanded the usage of Arabic calligraphy. Arabic calligraphy has also been used to decorate architecture, especially mosques, as well as using armor, clothing, walls (graffiti) and other various external mediums such as planes.

Dig deeper :




Here are some examples from Arabic/Persian/Ottoman Arabic:

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