Job no:81378-5 Title : RP_All Access (New PB Verdions) Client : Pro-vision
175 Size : 203.2(w)254(h)mm Co : M6 (mac J)
Dept : DTP D/O : 22.10.05 (Job no:000000 D/O : 00.00.04 Co: CM0)
ideki Nakajima was born in 1961, in the mostly agricultural Saitama region of Japan. The son of
a kimono tailor, he grew up in a home that was open to the arts where he quickly discovered
his love for drawing. An early visual influence came in the form of Ultraman, a 40-foot (12 m)-tall
silver robot in the mold of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, dressed in the brightly colored superhero fashions of
the day. Ultraman’s sleek, futuristic styling and metallic good looks became part of Nakajima’s aesthetic
foundation and a regular character in his drawings.
Nakajima continued honing his drafting skills throughout his teenage years, but a trip to the record store
soon turned him toward graphic design. He now describes it as the most dramatic event of his life,
a moment that changed his destiny. “When I was a teenager, I wanted to be an illustrator. But after seeing
the jacket of an OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) LP, designed by Peter Saville, I changed
my mind and decided to be a graphic designer.”
PIECES OF ART IN ONE YEAR On entering the professional world, he immediately
felt its artistic constraints. “My twenties were the darkest period in my life.
During those ten years, I changed design companies seven times. Maybe I was very
arrogant. My first design company fired me after just three months. At that time, I had strong pride,
but that pride had no reason. In the real world, my ideal design was nothing. I didn’t know how
to persuade financial sponsors. Also, I didn’t have the skill to make my ideas real. Somehow I decided
to accept that reality and gradually came to think that I would be an art director after thirty, and that
my twenties were training time.”
Still, Nakajima was frustrated by the lack of freedom he found in his first jobs. He decided to find
another outlet rather than let himself be stifled. “I decided that I would make 100 original works
within a year, on my own time, which meant I had to make at least one piece every three days.
In those days, we had no computers that could make artwork easily, so I made a lot of silk screens.”
The resulting pieces show Nakajima’s admiration for Saville’s album covers and modernist typography
but move beyond mimicry in their subtle use of type, color, and photography.
Finding his love for graphic design via Ultraman and the record sleeves
of Peter Saville, Hideki Nakajima has made a career of creating
subtly lavish and elegant designs that astound with every closer look.
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