Mitsuo Katsui: Master Of All Media

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Every designer relates to the tools of his trade, but Mitsuo Katsui pursues, studies, and applies them until he achieves a genuine dialogue with each one. He is a master of all media and a pioneer in computer graphics, seamlessly harnessing the capacity of technology to reveal the power of life itself.

After college, Katsui picked up a camera. His photography skills advanced quickly, earning him exhibitions in Tokyo art galleries and commercial clients, such as Ajinomoto, a major food corporation. Katsui then convinced a large printing company to allow him to experiment with a new, state-of-the-art press that produced micron lines on paper money. After two years of trial and error, Katsui created an animated movie with the aid of the machine.

His first grand undertaking was a six-year, international collaboration with 20 designers on the Kodansha Encyclopedia — a massive English language volume covering a wide range of Japanese topics. The seminal book was only the beginning of Katsui’s long relationship with publishing, as it introduced Katsui’s name to the international graphic design scene.

But Mitsuo Katsui’s first love is poster design. It is in these single-frame statements, seen here, that one can appreciate his vibrant vision and his approach to client work.

Graphis was honored to have Katsui included in 12 Japanese Masters, a book that serves as a tribute to the designers who, in the 1960s and ’70s, brought Japan to the attention of the international design world. It includes insightful profiles and stunning visual portfolios by designers Koichi Sato, Takenobu Igarashi, Shigeo Fukuda, Tadanori Yokoo, Eiko Ishioka, Toshiyuki Kita, Yusaku Kamekura, Kiyoshi Awazu, Kazumasa Nagai, Issey Miyake, and Ikko Tanaka.

To read purchase 12 Japanese Masters, click here.

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