The 362nd Ginza Graphic Gallery Exhibition Typographic Composition, Yoshihisa Shirai
September 26, 2017 - November 07, 2017
Among the design elements of typography is “typographic composition”: composition that includes the space in which lettering is arranged and configured on a page. “Typographic Composition” is also the title chosen by Yoshihisa Shirai, who remains active primarily in book design and editorial design, for his long-awaited solo exhibition at ggg. The exhibition will be out of the ordinary: in addition to showing many of Shirai’s book designs of great beauty, the core of the works on display will consist of two-page spreads featuring black lettering.
Yoshihisa Shirai is widely known for his art direction work for the universally acclaimed design magazine “IDEA.” For 10 years he was in charge of the design of this magazine that covers a remarkably broad spectrum of topics and subjects. Its bimonthly publication schedule notwithstanding, each issue of the magazine is worked up into a superlative work of art, so that taken together they create an extremely attractive collection.
Besides “IDEA,” Shirai has also been involved in the design of a plethora of books. Before commencing a book design, he reads up and becomes thoroughly familiar with the subject or person being featured, and only then does he proceed to painstakingly devise its typography, page by page. The diverse texts formed by his hand reverberate like voices from between the book’s covers, at times breezily, at others sternly, and yet others stylishly. Any encounter with his alluring typography is sure to make for an unforgettable reading experience.
This exhibition, in addition to displaying a large number of Shirai’s actual works, will also introduce a more modest number of materials that he has used as reference materials in the course of creating typography. Besides providing insight into just how much research he puts into each book he designs, the exhibition will surely also offer the visitor an opportunity to relish typographic composition not at a superficial level but in all its profundity, incorporating borrowed or referenced knowledge and designs of the past and forms that have become modified and passed down.
DNP Ginza Building 1st floor
7-2, Ginza 7-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Opening Hours: 11:00am-7:00pm
Closed on Sundays and Holidays
Gallery Talk 1
"Typographic Composition and Book Formats"
by Yoshihisa Shirai
6:30-8:00pm, Friday, October 6
Gallery Talk 2
Dialogue between Ryoichi Enomoto and Yoshihisa Shirai
6:30-8:00pm, Friday, October 20
DNP Ginza Bldg. 3F
Admission free, Booking required, 70 seats available
DNP Shueitai type storehouse and printing factory in Kuki
1:00-6:00pm, Wednesday, October 25
Admission free, Booking required for up to 30 people
5:30-7:00pm, Tuesday, September 26
ginza graphic gallery/ DNP Ginza Bldg. 2F
Graphic designer born in 1961 in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture. After working at Grace (1981-1987) and Seihokei (1987-1998), he established his own design office in 1998. He specializes primarily in typography design, engaging in book design, editorial design, exhibition publicity materials, etc.
Major works: the Japanese translation of Jan Tschichold’s Meisterbuch der Schrift (Robundo, 1998), Obun shotai hyakka jiten (Encyclopedia of Western Typefaces: Robundo, 2003), EXHIBITIONS (Dai Nippon Printing, 2007), Tokyo TDC Vol.20 (DNP Art Communications, 2009), Ai Yamaguchi’s Hogarahogara (First Light: Hatori Press, 2010), Tadanori Yokoo’s Zensoteishu (Complete Book Designs: PIE International, 2013), ggg’s Jan Tschichold Exhibition (DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion, 2013), Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana Exhibition Vol.1 (Toppan Printing, 2002) and Vol.2 (2015). From 1996 to 2011, he was involved in the branding of Ryobi Imagix’s fonts. For 10 years starting in 2005, he was in charge of art direction and design of “IDEA” magazine (Seibundo Shinkosha).
Major publications (all in Japanese): “American Movable Type Printing and its Supporting Role in Japanese Movable Type Printing,” in Japanese Modern Movable Type: Shozo Motogi and His Periphery (Modern Printing Movable Type Culture Protection Society, 2003); “Typography: The Trajectory of Language Design Standardization and Consistency,” in Language Society 2 (Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Language and Society, 2008); “Movable Type and Grid Systems: Book Format Development,” in Studies in Lettering (Seibundo Shinkosha, 2008); etc.
Exhibitions: TYPOJANCHI: Seoul International Typography Biennale (2001, 2011); 673rd Design Gallery 1953 Exhibition, “The Wisdom and Beauty of Books, Vol.1: The Works of Yoshihisa Shirai” (2011, Japan Design Committee; planning and layout by Keiko Hirano).
Education: Instructor at Robundo Typography School in Shinjuku since 2003; instructor at MeMe Design School since 2011; Professor in Department of Visual Communication Design, College of Art and Design, Musashino Art University, since 2012.
ginza graphic gallery (Yanagimoto): 03-3571-5206