I’m kind of obsessing about asian* graphic design now. I’ve been following Gurafiku for quite some time, but it’s like my interest feels especially urgent now more than ever before haha. Also this week, I’m working on something Chinese-related at work, and I’ve come across so many good works from researching.
*I haven’t checked up on all asian countries to see what kind of graphic design they all have, so I use the term “asian” loosely to generalize. Also, I’m not sure if all the materials I’ve seen and liked are actually made by asians, because some might be translated version of movie posters or book covers, etc.
What I like about asian graphic design is how organic it is, and I feel so sure that human beings are behind it, not some machine. It’s also unabashedly expressive, and what I probably like most about it, especially with Japanese graphic design, is how irreverent it can get. I’ve been seeing all these interesting posters, and even though I have no idea what the event is about, I feel like I want to be there because it looks so silly and fun, but also still smart and tasteful. It’s refreshing, especially compared to the very clean, flat, and even kind of stoic design that’s popular now.
I am also drawn to how generously illustrations are used in the design work. The drawing styles are so varied, and are used across different materials. You can’t really pin them down to a certain niche, like there are certain styles that look naive, but they’re not restricted to design materials for children, and so on.
Another aspect of asian graphic design that makes it remarkable is that most asian countries use their own character sets for writing. In the Philippines we use the English alphabet, but a lot of our neighbors like Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand use their own alphabets, and their treatments of type and grid are really interesting.
Here are some examples that I really like! Click on the images to see the sources. I’m reposting solely for reference purposes, and all rights belong to the respective designers.
Some reference sites I like are Gurafiku, Designspiration, Pinterest, and 50watts. :)