The Arts of Japan


Guide to Graphic Design

Katsumi, Masaru et al.Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha

Guide to Graphic Design is a five-volume design compendium covering various design disciplines, including visual composition, illustration, photography, packaging, and display design. The books were published by Bijutsu Shuppan-sha between 1960 and 1962 and edited by Katsumi Masaru, Tanaka Masaki, Hara Hiromu, Yamashiro Ryūichi, and Koike Iwatarō, featuring numerous contributions from recognized experts in each field.


Guide to Graphic Design is a comprehensive design compendium consisting of five volumes, each exploring a particular subject. The topics of the volumes are: Visual Design, Illustration, Photo + Design, Graphic Element, and Package + Display.

Bijutsu Shuppan-sha published the books between 1960 and 1962. The editorial team consists of design critic and prolific producer of design projects Katsumi Masaru (1909–1983), design historian Tanaka Masaki (1931–2014), graphic design veterans Hara Hiromu (1903–1986) and Yamashiro Ryūichi (1920–1997), and industrial designer Koike Iwatarō (1913–1992). Each of the editors stands out as an authority of their profession, who have all written books on design and lectured at numerous educational institutions during their careers.

Each volume has article contributions by a remarkable list of renowned specialists, including, but not limited to, the great graphic designers Kōno Takashi (1906–1999), Kamekura Yūsaku (1915–1997), Ōchi Hiroshi (1908–1974), and Itō Kenji (1915–2001).

Sugiura Kōhei (b. 1932) designed the cover. He developed a pattern with three layers of slightly displaced squares colored in different shades, giving the composition an appearance of depth. Each cover features a color variation of this pattern, giving the series a cohesive theme while allowing each book a distinct look.

One of the editors, Tanaka Masaki, who began his career as a graphic designer, was responsible for the layout of the first three volumes. Sugiura carried out the layout of the final two volumes.


English Title
Guide to Graphic Design
Page Count
Bijutsu Shuppan-Sha
Katsumi, Masaru
Hara, Hiromu
Koike, Iwatarō
Yamashiro, Ryūichi
Tanaka, Masaki
Kamekura, Yūsaku
Mukai, Hideo
Ōchi, Hiroshi
Cover artist
Sugiura, Kōhei