Ikko Tanaka is a Japanese graphic designer who fused modern principles & aesthetics with the Japanese tradition.
He formed his own design studio in 1963 where he worked for corporations such as Mazda, Hanae Mori, Issey Miyake & the International Garden & Greenery Exhibition. He was most well known for his poster design for the Nihon Buyo performance by the Asian Performing Arts Institute. Throughout his career he designed among other things, posters, logos, packaging & annual reports. Other popular works of his include his designs for the symbols for the Expo ’85 in Tsukuba & the World City Expo Tokyo ’96.
Tanaka’s designs are renowned for their modern simplicity, utilising strong geographical forms such as the basis for bold, communicative imagery with a distinctive Japanese twist. His poster designs in particular often make reference to traditional Japanese art forms such as the painted faces of geishas & the markings of calligraphic brushwork.
The fusion of both eastern & western design in his work became Tanaka’s greatest legacy & paved the way for many young designers to follow in his footsteps.