The Arts of Japan



Seibundō Shinkōsha1953

Idea is a magazine focused on graphic design and typography, published quarterly by Seibundō Shinkōsha since 1953. Today, Idea is one of Japan's most significant and long-running graphic design publications, with a global readership.

Seibundō Shinkōsha launched Idea in 1953 to replace Kōkoku-kai, translating to "World of Advertising," which ceased publication during World War Two. Published between 1925 and 1941, Kōkoku-kai was Japan's only advertising-related magazine. Twelve years after Kōkoku-kai reached the end of its run, Idea continued the editorial focus of its predecessor, with the original subtitles reading "Design, Advertising, and Sales" in Japanese and "International Advertising Art" in English.

Over time, Idea expanded its focus to include graphic design and typography more generally. In the late nineties, Idea's subtitle was adapted to "The World's Design Magazine" in Japanese and "International graphic art and typography" in English to reflect the current concept. Since its inception, Idea has had an international approach, introducing and collaborating with designers worldwide and offering English summaries of their content.

From its first issue, Idea has attracted the giants of the graphic design scene. Kamekura Yūsaku created the iconic wordmark for the magazine, set in bold Katakana, while Itō Kenji designed the first cover. Ōchi Hiroshi contributed as art director, overseeing the creation of the magazine until he passed away two decades later. The editor-in-chief was Miyayama Takashi, who held the same position for ten years at Kōkoku-kai.

After seven decades since its first issue, Idea remains one of Japan's significant and longstanding graphic design publications.




English Subtitle
International Advertising Art
First Published
Seibundō Shinkōsha
Editor in Chief
Miyayama, Takashi
Art Director
Ōchi, Hiroshi
Logo Designer
Kamekura, Yūsaku