Shigeo Fukuda

“I believe that in design, 30 percent dignity, 20 percent beauty and 50 percent absurdity are necessary,” Shigeo Fukuda told Idea Magazine. Fukuda was born in 1932 in Tokyo, Japan to a family primarily employed as toy makers. Early in his adulthood he had an interest in the principles of Swiss design and starting in 1956 he attended the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music. The first Japanese designer to be inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, his work is recognizable for its simplicity and use of visual illusions.

One of his most famous works is entitled Victory 1945 and it won him a grand prize at the Warsaw Poster Contest in 1975, a competition whose proceeds helped fun the Peace Fund Movement. Much of his work was designed to make a social impact rather than a commercial one and he was a strong advocate for pacifism and environmentalism. Not only a designer he also practiced sculpture, one example of which was a large sculpture of silverware that resembled a helmet but cast an intricate shadow of a motorcycle titled Lunch with a Helmet On. He died in 2009 of a heart attack.