A colourful poster depicting silhouette people for the 15th Tokyo Motor Show '68. Designers: Keisuke Nagamoto and Seitaro Kuroda. Taken from the Icograda Archive housed at the University of Brighton Design Archives.

Catalogue number: DES-ICO-3-19-28. Icograda Archive, University of Brighton Design Archives.

The Design Archives have created a unique display of rare Japanese posters from the 1960s and 70s for the 2011 Brighton Japan Festival. The ten images that make up the exhibition at the Jubilee Library include work by some of the great names of Japanese graphic design and reveal the range of influences on Japanese visual culture at this time, from the psychedelic and traditional to the hyper-real and technological. Seen today, the posters retain a stunning visual force and stand their ground alongside the best of contemporary graphic design.

The posters from Japan that make up this display are part of the archive of the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) held at the University of Brighton Design Archives. ICOGRADA acquired these posters as part of a project to build a collection representing the best poster designs in the world.

In the 1950s after the war, General Douglas MacArthur commented on Japan as a cultured/democratic nation of 12 years old. In the 1960 and 70s, Japan was a very confused teenager, and though still living far away from the West, with the big influence of the USA, and The Beatles, Mini…  dealing with 1964 Tokyo Olympics, coping with 1973 Oil crisis… now, facing up to Tsunami and Nuclear… and twittering. Personality hardly changes.

– Eiichi Kono, Senior Research Fellow, University of Brighton

The exhibition on the ground floor of the Jubilee Library runs from 18-26 June.

Visit the Brighton Japan Festival and the ICOGRADA Archive web pages for more information.

Black, white and red logo for the Brighton Japan Festival with text in English and in Japanese.