EST. 2009

October 11, 2012

That Specialization

OF MY DAD'S COLLECTION of Graphis magazines and annuals, I count as my favorite, the 1968 Japan Edition which spotlights the roots of, and new directions taken by, Japanese visual art at the time. The book is worn, with few pages gone loose, but many of the photographs and illustrations continue to look relevant today, a good forty years since they were made.

Despite my having looked through, and to, this digest for years, I never actually took the time to read its articles. Last night I did, making it halfway through before falling into a pre-dinner nap, the worst thing an insomniac like myself could possibly do. The feature on katachi was most interesting, but only secondary to Yusaku Kamekura's discussion on specialization as a hazard to individualism.

It is a natural phenomenon that, as organizations grow, there is a movement towards specialization. To create advertisements, special personnel is required for designing, copywriting, photography, etc. It is now difficult to complete an advertisement without teamwork, and a cooperative attitude is therefore required of the designer. However, if a designer prefers to show individualism in his work, he will find these modern trends unacceptable. In most cases he will then move to editorial design, publicity or theatrical design, where there is more room for individual approaches.

Living and working at the present time, where this "modern trend" is more normal than phenomenal, I assess my own need for individualism. Perhaps, a kinder term would be individuality.

11 months since setting off to work independently, it has in some ways felt abnormal. But it also has, in other ways, felt phenomenal.

P.S. That's Kitty Bang Bang, who specializes in disturbing my peace.

Graphis 138/139 Special Double Issue: Japan, 1968