🔻 Graphotype 🔻
Category: Poster
Date: 1974
‘New Music Media, New Magic Media’ exemplifies Koichi Sato’s ethereal, quasi-mystical design style, in which colour gradient and soft tones emanate from simple objects and forms. His vision represents a significant episode in Japanese graphic design, when the country was experiencing a manufacturing boom and designs felt the need to establish a more indigenous aesthetic. 

Sato’s approach is distinguished by his unusual choices of forms, often deliberating obscure in meaning, and the expressive effects he creates from the way in which objects are depicted.

In this poster advertising a music concert, a plain white space forms the background to a black box-like shape - a neutral form that lacks national and cultural associations- at the centre of which lies a carp, a common East Asian fish. Apart from the strange combination of objects, the image is distinct for its forms’ softened edges, which give them an aura and suggest third dimension.

The overall simplicity of the design, with its narrow black border, has an austere character, but the ambiguity of the objects and their surroundings glow evoke a more mysterious atmosphere that contrasts with the geometric framework. This relationship is, to some degree, also represented by the juxtaposition text of the upper right-hand corner. 

Such a fascinating Japanese subject, while suggesting a futuristic or celestial vision.