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Poster, Zen, 1976

This is a Poster. It was designed by Takenobu Igarashi and printed by Light Printing Co., Ltd. and made for (as the client) Zen Environmental Design. It is dated 1976 and we acquired it in 2018. Its medium is lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

This group of 21 posters by the Japanese designer Takenobu Igarashi represents the arc of his graphic design career from the mid-1970s through the early 1990s. An early experimenter with emerging digital technologies, Igarashi incorporated devices such as the photocopy machine to create visual effects and multi-layered designs. However, he was most drawn to the drafting machine, a tool intended for architectural design that enabled him to experiment with axonometric drawings and scientific and mathematical forms. “By erasing the vague nuances of freehand drawing and working with solid geometric figures in a scientific and mathematical manner, using my tool and method, I was, in a way, rebelling against the main design trend of that time with a strong emphasis on illustration.”[1] These architectural alphabets, in which Igarashi treats letter forms like architectural plan views, have become an iconic foundation of graphic work. “I’ve always wanted to transcend the communicative function of letters and characters,” Igarashi has written, stating that he wished “to capture their form in a dimension other than the usual phonetic usage. For me, thinking about letters and characters is the same as thinking about the basics of design. My imagination was inspired by their form and structure—for one can learn about line and space by studying letters and characters.”[2]

This object was donated by Takenobu Igarashi. It is credited Gift of Takenobu Igarashi.

Its dimensions are

72.5 × 102.7 cm (28 9/16 × 40 7/16 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed in black ink, lower right: ZEN

Cite this object as

Poster, Zen, 1976; Designed by Takenobu Igarashi (Japanese, b. 1944); lithograph on paper; 72.5 × 102.7 cm (28 9/16 × 40 7/16 in.); Gift of Takenobu Igarashi; 2018-18-4

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1158862511/ |title=Poster, Zen, 1976 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=19 October 2021 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>