Katsumi Asaba graphic designer, art director / Japan
The essence and development of writing systems:
From petroglyphs to writing
10 / 10 (Fri)11 : 00 - 11 : 45
C5 (Room 131-134)

Born in Yokohama in 1940. Established Asaba Design Co., Ltd. in 1975 after working for Light Publicity Ltd. Among his clients are Suntory, the Seibu Department Stores and the Seibu Saison Group. His campaigns for Takeda Chemical Industries' "Arinamin A" and Nisshin Food Products' "Nisshin Cup Noodles" are widely known. Asaba is a committee member of the Tokyo ADC (Art Directors Club), a director of the JAGDA (Japan Graphic Designers Association), the chairman of the Tokyo TDC (Type Directors Club), and a councilor as well as an international commissioner of the Japan Table Tennis Association. He holds the sixth level in table tennis. Starting with the JAAC (Japanese Advertising Artists' Club) Special Selection, he has received a number of awards including the JAAC Prize Yamana Prize, the Purple Ribbon Medal and the Tokyo ADC Award Grand Prix. In 1995, he art directed the film Sharaku. He considers his research on the variety of Asian characters and scripts as his lifework. He has contributed greatly to introducing to Japan the enchanting Dongba Script (Nakhi Pictographic Script) of the Nakhi Tribe living in Yunnan Province, China. In 1999 he was invited to the international conference held in Lijiang, home of the Nakhi Tribe, and there held a solo exhibition featuring the Dongba Script. He practices Japanese calligraphy under Kyuyo Ishikawa and has a wealth of knowledge of the history of typography as well as calligraphy.

Poster for exhibition 'Circle, Triangle and Square 2000' at Creation Gallery G8 (2000)

Poster for exhibition 'Asian Typography; A View from Tokyo' at the Cooper Union, NY (1990)

Campaign poster 'Oishii Seikatsu (delicious life)' for the Seibu department stores (1982)

Poster 'Diana' for the shoes retailer, DIANA (1978)