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92 volumes of bibliographic pleasure

Adrian Shaughnessy

I’ve been a long-time admirer of the ultra-desirable, mini-monographs published by ggg Books in Japan. I own four or five editions, and every time I look at one of them I yearn to have all 92 volumes. By an amazing dollop of good luck I now own the entire series.

The books are small (135x190mm) and weigh in at 64 pages. They use high-grade paper and, as is usual with Japanese printing, the reproductions are superb. Each book comes with a coloured bellyband, a bookmark, and a short essay in Japanese and English. The series has an air of refinement and fastidiousness.

Ikko Tanaka

Shiego Okamoto

ggg stands for Ginza Graphic Gallery. The gallery opened in 1986 and specializes in, wait for it – graphic design. It describes itself as a ‘social contribution by Dai Nippon Printing Co Ltd.’

The most intriguing aspect of this series is the shrewd-eyed choice of subjects deserving of the ggg imprimatur. The list begs the question – how are the subjects chosen?

The full list makes fascinating reading: there’s only one Brit – Neville Brody; a handful of Europeans including Josef Muller-Brockmann, Bruno Munari, Studio Dumbar, Bruno Monguzzi, m/m (paris) and Pierre Bernard; and a number of eminent Americans including Saul Bass, Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Herb Lubalin, Lou Dorfsman, Paula Scher and Stefan Sagmeister.

Yusaku Kamekura

Yusaku Kamekura

Max Huber

Unsurprisingly, the majority of subjects are Japanese. Many of the names will be familiar to admirers of Japanese design and illustration: Yusaku Kamekura, Tadanori Yokoo, Keichi Tanaami, Hedeki Nakajima, Takashi Kono, Makoto Sato, Ikko Tanaka and Kenya Hara. But there are others that are new to me; I was happy to discover Masaaki Hiromura, Noriyuki Tanaka, Kashiwa Sato and Shigeo Okamoto.

In truth, there’s hardly a dud amongst all 92 titles. One or two of the Japanese designers seem a tad too enthralled with the slick, over-Photoshopped sheen of luxury goods’ advertising. But these infrequent aberrations are compensated for by astonishing array of talent that makes me hope the series continues for another 90+ editions.

Masaaki Hiromura

Shigeo Okamoto

Here’s a full list of all 92 titles:

01. Henryk Tomaszewski
02. Paul Rand
03. Yusaku Kamekura
04. Yoshio Hayakawa
05. Ikko Tanaka
06. Kazumasa Nagai
07. Shin Matsunaga
08. Shigeo Fukuda
09. Mitsuo Katsui
10. Saul Bass
11. Kiyoshi Awazu
12. Ivan Chermayeff
13. Koichi Sato
14. Holger Matthies
15. Masayoshi Nakajo
16. Yukimasa Okumura
17. Bruno Munari
18. Katsumi Asaba
19. Makoto Nakamura
20. Milton Glaser
21. Makoto Saito
22. Masuteru Aoba
23. Josef Muller-Brockmann
24. Lou Dorfsman
25. K2
26. Akira Uno
27. Makoto Wada
28. Tadanori Yokoo
29. Tadashi Ohashi
30. Ryuichi Yamashiro
31. Seymour Chwast
32. Alan Chan
33. Seiju Toda
34. Stasys Eidrigevicius
35. Koru Kasai
36. U.G. Sato
37. Studio Dumbar
38. Yoichiro Kawaguchi
39. Gunter Rambow
40. Herbert Leupin
41. Toshifumi Kawahara
42. Tsunehisa Kimura
43. Takuya Onuki
44. Katsuhiko Hibino
45. Keizo Matsui
46. Paul Davis
47. Ryohei Kojima
48. Bruno Monguzzi
49. Sigeo Okamoto
50. Kijyuro Yahagi
51. Pierre Bernard
52. Yasuhiko Kida
53. Italo Lupi
54. Tadahito Nadamoto
55. Uwe Loesch
56. Kamijyo Takahisa
57. Paula Scher
58. Kenya Hara
59. Herb Lubalin
60. Draft
61. Takayuki Soeda
62. Per Arnoldi
63. Takashi Kono
64. Inoue Jyunya
65. Taku Satoh
66. Pierre Mendell
67. Kashiwa Sato
68. Eiko Ishioka
69. Katsunori Aoki
70. Stefan Sagmeister
71. Masahiko Sato
72. Noriyuki Tanaka
73. Nagi Noda
74. Cyan
75. Kazufumi Nagai
76. Keiichi Tanaami
77. Alexander Gelman
78. Hideki Nakajima
79. Katsu Kimura
80. Niklaus Troxler
81. Masaaki Hiromura
82. Kenjiro Sano
83. Shinja Nakajima
84. John Maeda
85. Hiroshi Sasaki
86. Keiko Hirano
87. M/M (Paris)
88. Neville Brody
89. Max Huber
90. Gan Hosoya
91. Toshio Yamagata
92. Issay Kitagawa


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