The 74th A Select Few Colors: From the DNP Graphic Design Archives
March 01, 2018 - June 10, 2018
Color is one of the key component elements of the visual arts. Even in cave paintings dating back tens of thousands of years, we find depictions created from multiple, differentiated colors made from earth or ores. Throughout subsequent history, in every era man has continuously pursued new modes of artistic expression employing abundant colors achieved through innovations in materials: tempera, oil paints and acrylics, for example. Today, thanks to ongoing advances in drawing materials as well as developments in reproduction techniques—photography, printing and such—plus the expanding adoption of visual media employing those techniques, further augmented by developments in technologies and media—high-resolution displays, et al.—it has become possible to create and freely use colors of every conceivable description.
In the realm of graphic design—one aspect of the visual arts—and especially in posters, in seeking to convey information or messages to others designers often opt for splendiferous expressions employing numerous colors as a way of attracting people’s attention. In most contemporary color printing of the kind featured in posters, colors are expressed by overlaying the four colors abbreviated as “CYMK”: cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black). These four colors are converted to fine dots of varying sizes, and color intensity and gradation are depicted making use of the dots’ sizes and the way they are overlaid. Depending on how these variants are adjusted, the result is an infinite spectrum of possible color inventions.
Such technical possibilities aside, posters have often been created in which the number of colors is intentionally kept to but a few. This limitation isn’t necessarily attributable simply to the issue of production costs; at times, by intent of the client or the designer, a simple mode of expression employing limited colors is purposefully chosen. In these times overflowing with colors to the point of excess, such posters can, by virtue of their atypical conciseness, attract attention as powerful vehicles of expression.
This exhibition features posters gleaned from CCGA’s DNP Graphic Design Archives that were produced using only a select few colors. Visitors will surely gain an appreciation of how designers have probed optimally effective means of artistic expression within limited conditions, each focusing his or her talents on their challenging task in a unique way.
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (admission until 4:45 p.m.)
Mondays (Tuesday if Monday is a public holiday), the day immediately after a public holiday (except if Saturday or Sunday).
Adults 300 Yen, students 200 Yen.
Free for young children (through elementary school), senior citizens (65 and over) and the handicapped.
DNP Foundation for Cultural Promotion and Center for Contemporary Graphic Art