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Exhibition information

The 322nd Exhibition Why Not Associates - We Never Had a Plan So Nothing Could Go Wrong

June 05, 2013 - June 29, 2013

design by why not associatesC calligraphy by katsumi asaba
design by why not associates, calligraphy by katsumi asaba
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Twenty-five years after its founding in 1987, the London-based Why Not Associates remains at the forefront of design. After becoming a standard-bearer for innovative typography through its catalogs for the fashion brand Next and its design of the graphic designer's bible Typography Now, the studio has continued to produce a constant stream of powerful work. Unfettered by convention, original and occasionally a bit surprising, always aiming high, the studio's designs have earned the approval of numerous clients from a variety of fields ranging from global brands to regional governments and cultural facilities.
The studio's reputation is firmly established in Japan, having received the Grand Prix from the Tokyo TDC in 2003 for A Flock of Words, a typographic pavement installed in the English coastal city of Morecambe Bay; in 2010 for the trailer to Unseen Gaza, a documentary aired on Channel 4 in the UK; and again in 2012 for Comedy Carpet, an example of public art as a massive typographic compilation. Through its public art collaborations with artist Gordon Young including A Flock of Words, Why Not has shown its foundations in typography at a scale that tests the imagination.
Twenty years have passed since the Why Not exhibition held at ddd Gallery in Osaka. Now in their prime, Why Not Associates continues to offer effective design with a twist. We hope visitors will enjoy the unlimited world of Why Not: one that is daring and dynamic and less about achieving pre-planned harmony than turning even accident to advantage.


ginza graphic gallery (ggg)
DNP Ginza Building, 7-2, Ginza 7-chome@
Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Tel: 03.3571.5206
Opening hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm (until 6:00pm on Saturdays)
Closed on Sundays and holidays
Admission free

Gallery Talk

4:00 - 5:30pm Wednesday, June 5
Speakers: Andy Altmann and David Ellis
Venue: DNP Ginza Bldg. 3F
Free admission, Reservation required (seating capacity: 70)

*USTREAM Live streaming:

Why Not Associates

On leaving the Royal College of Art in 1987 (with just three drawing boards) fellow graduates Andy Altmann, David Ellis and Howard Greenhalgh immediately formed the multi disciplinary design group Why Not Associates. For over 25 years Why Not Associates have become known for creating innovative work that pushed the boundaries of traditional graphic design. They have achieved this by a love of experimenting in many different media and applying it through corporate identity, motion graphics, television commercials direction, editorial design, publishing and environmental design. Why Not Associates clients include the Royal Academy of Arts, Malcolm Mcclaren, Pompidou Centre, Royal Mail, Nike, Paul Smith, Virgin Records, Antony Gormley, BBC, Channel 4 and the Tate Modern.
In 1991 Why Not Associates collaborated with Edward Booth-Clibborn and Rick Poyner to edit and design Typography Now: The Next wave – which became the most significant, most referenced, best selling survey of typographic trends and thinking of its time.
A monograph was published in 1998 by Booth-Clibborn editions documenting the first ten years of their work. A second was published in 2004 by Thames and Hudson which documented another five years.
The studio (now run by Altmann and Ellis after Greenhalgh left in 1993 to pursue a directing career) remains as committed as ever to the love of making and experimentation. They still strive to push the boundaries of graphic design and more recent projects collaborating with artist Gordon Young have moved them into the world of public art.


Azusa Ozawa, ginza graphic gallery Tel: 03.3571.5206