Ikko Tanaka

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Ikko Tanaka (田中 一光, Tanaka Ikkō, January 13, 1930 – January 10, 2002) was a Japanese graphic designer.


Born in 1930 in Nara City,[1] Ikko Tanaka studied art at the Kyoto City School of Fine Arts. Ikko Tanaka worked at the Sankei Shinbun, Nippon Design Center, and subsequently established his first design studio in Tokyo, the Ikko Tanaka Design Studio, in 1963.[1][2] Tanaka was ranked the freshest Japanese designer of the 20th century by GQ in 2001.


Ikko Tanaka's work includes the design of the symbols for Expo '85 in Tsukuba and World City Expo Tokyo '96. Amongst others he has worked for the Seibu Saison Group, The International Garden and Greenery Exposition, Hanae Mori, Issey Miyake, and the Mazda Corporation. Tanaka has curated and designed exhibitions for the Victoria and Albert Museum (London) and throughout Japan.[1] He has also designed the main logo of Osaka University.[3] Ikko Tanaka published several books, including "Design, no Zengo Sayu." and an autobiography, "Tanaka Ikko: graphic master".[4][5]

Ikko Tanaka is credited with developing the Muji together with Kazuko Koike (marketing consultant), and Takashi Sugimoto (interior designer).[6] Tanaka articulated the Muji vision and appearance, and he provided ideas and prototypes that visualized the design strategy. He worked as Muji's art director until 2001. In September 2012 there was a retrospective of his work at 21 21 Design Sight in Tokyo, curated by one of his closest collaborators Kazuko Koike. [7]


Ikko Tanaka has received several awards, including the JAAC Special Selection, Mainichi Design Award, Minister of Education Newcomer Prize, Tokyo ADC Members' Grand Prize, Mainichi Art Award, Purple Ribbon Medal, and the New York ADC Hall of Fame Prize. Tanaka has exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Mexico.


  1. ^ a b c The Art Directors Club / Hall of Fame
  2. ^ Heller, Steven (2002-01-24). "Ikko Tanaka, 71, Japanese Graphic Designer". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  3. ^ "大阪大学の校章". derma.med.osaka-u.ac.jp. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
  4. ^ Tanaka, Ikko; Calza Carlo, Gian (1997). Tanaka Ikko: graphic master. Phaidon. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. ^ Ikko Tanaka
  6. ^ If You Want to Make an Understatement - New York Times
  7. ^ "Ikko Tanaka: between past and future, East and West". www.domusweb.it. Retrieved 2020-02-27.

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