Logos from Japan: Counter-Print’s new book explores contemporary Japanese logo design

Logos from Japan, published by Counter-Print

Design store and publisher Counter-Print‘s new book Logos from Japan brings together hundreds of logo designs for Japanese businesses – including bookstores, cafes, salons, dentists, pharmacies, arts organisations and food brands.

It is Counter-print’s second book on Japanese visual culture. The first, From Japan, was released in 2015 and focused on graphic design and illustration. “There was much that we could not include within this volume – in particular the vast sphere of logo design, which was only touched upon,” says Counter-Print.

The new book examines this area of design in more depth and includes a diverse collection of symbols. There are minimal geometric designs, intricate illustrations and word marks featuring  Japanese and English characters.

An introduction highlights some key influences in Japanese graphic design – from family crests to Japanese arts and crafts. Western design and artistic movements have also influenced the country’s design scene, resulting in a varied and fascinating visual culture.

“Japanese design is unique in the way that it unites traditional and modern aspects of design,” writes Counter-Print’s Jon Dowling in the introduction.

Spread showing Shinnoske Inc’s logo design for Brava Theatre

“The advance of technology in the late twentieth century created a cultural milieu in which ancient and modern cultures, Eastern and Western thought, handicraft and industrial production, past present and future, all blurred into the Japanese visual landscape which we enjoy today…. We see a design scene that is at ease with a vivid, varied and stylistic vernacular,” writes Dowling.

The book is mostly visual – the only commentary is Dowling’s introductory text – but with hundreds of examples, it’s a useful reference source for anyone interested in logos or Japanese graphic design.

Logos from Japan costs £9.50 and is available to order from counter-print.co.uk

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