Kohei Sugiura is one of the most famous magazine designers in Japan. He is also known throughout Asia. The book Wind and Lightning: A Half-Century of Magazine Design by Kohei Sugiura (Trans Art 2004) presents his work from 1960 to 2004.
But first let’s take a look at his name. His first name Kohei is written 康平, which surprised me since my friend Kohei’s name is written 浩平. The second kanji, which they share, means peace/harmony/fairness. The last name Sugiura is written 杉浦. I don’t know the second kanji, but the first one is the same “sugi” as in Suginami-ku, the ward where I live. Suginami is written 杉並.
Here are some photos of his works from the 1960s:
What strikes me the most is how timeless and modern it looks. Especially the last pictures’ simple covers and illustrations could as well have been published today. I really like them.
Here are some later designs:
Notice how these covers are designed for continuity; just the issue number and the colour change between the issues. It looks so good when you see a long series of issues together, like this. There is total focus on the text and images. The form just acts a simple but reliable support for the content. Very elegant.
Some other examples of his design (though it’s for the stringent parts above I’ll remember him):
Another example of simple consistency over the issues:
Perfectly gridded page: