Tadanori Yokoo

Tadanori Yokoo (born 1936) is a graphic designer and illustrator who is extremely famous in Japan and also quite well known abroad. I didn’t know his name, but I had seen his art, which is very characteristic in style and has influenced poster design a lot. Posters are what Yokoo is most famous for.

The thick book All about Tadanori Yokoo and his graphic works is impressive.

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I found this quote from an essay by Christopher Mount:

He has the cultural status and following of a rock star or movie star in Japan. Yokoo is considered one of the great postwar cultural figures right along side Kurasawa, Mishima, Ono, Kusama, Ando or Miyake. I was surprised once when I met him for lunch at MoMA many years ago and a group of teenage Japanese tourists swarmed him for pictures and autographs. Everybody in Japan knows who he is. We don’t have graphic designers like that here in the U.S.

I’m sure you will recognize the style of some of the posters, maybe not from Yokoo himself, but from other designers who have been influenced by him:

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Above right Idea 92 from 1969.

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Above: A dramatic Ashita no Joe cover of Shounen Magazine. Interesting that a comic page with many frames can work so well as a cover.

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2 Responses to Tadanori Yokoo

  1. Erik October 13, 2013 at 13:53 #

    Cool. He worked together with Shuji Terayama, the film director, who made political theatre and films. I recently saw Yokoo featured in Artforum. He also did a book with Terayama, called Throw away your books!

  2. Karl October 13, 2013 at 13:59 #

    right, erik. he seems like a very interesting person and sort of opted out of the graphic design business to become a full-time artist.

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