JAGDA New Designer Award 2011: exhibition information and selection process

Award winners: Daigo Daikoku, Yui Takada and Masashi Tentaku
JAGDA Annual: Graphic Design in Japan 2011 published in June 2011.
Award Ceremony: JAGDA General Assembly 2011 on 11 June, 2011 at Tokyo Midtown

Tuesday, 31 May to Friday, 1 July 2011 at Creation Gallery G8, Tokyo
Monday, 11 July to Thursday, 21 July 2011 at Paper Voice Osaka, Osaka
Monday, 25 July to Sunday, 31 July 2011 at Gallery Art Site, Seian University of Art and Design, Shiga


Overview by Satoh Taku, Editor in chief of Graphic Design in Japan 2011
The New Designer Awards are a harbinger of JAGDA’s future. This is because the young designers on whose shoulders the future rests, and who are greatly influenced by their winning of this award, are very likely to become JAGDA members. In that respect, both those on the judging side and those on the award-receiving end have a weighty responsibility. The judges must have a vision of how JAGDA should be in the future, while those who receive the awards shoulder the responsibility to lead the way toward the graphic design of tomorrow. The zeal they display will inevitably impact the future of graphic design in Japan in no small way. Those who receive the award should view it as being told by their predecessors that they are now destined to be a leader in the world of Japanese graphic design. Through the process of making selections for the New Designer Awards, I felt one thing in particular relating to the candidate works as a whole. This was the feeling that many works approached their theme from an “off-center” perspective rather than straight on. Although one might easily say this is just the way Japanese culture has always been, I wonder if this trend in evidence in the works by designers destined to lead JAGDA into the future is a positive one. Things having an off-center perspective stand out only when there exists a firm center. Somehow it seems that many young graphic designers are intent on targeting the “edges,” leaving the center empty. Or am I alone in feeling this way? Personally, I too feel that works slightly off-center are indeed quite appealing, but my hope is that those who have won the JAGDA New Designer Awards will take this as an opportunity to think once again about what role graphic design should play in society.

Daikoku Daigo
Since Daigo Daikoku’s works garnered the most votes, I think that overall his works conveyed sufficient strength. Spanning a wide spectrum, they show strength in great variety. In particular, the promotional movie demonstrated yet another of Daikoku’s true strengths.

Yui Takada
Yui Takada’s works are all finely detailed and unique. His book designs and small graphics in particular attracted comments of approval at the judging sessions. His meticulous creation of micro-worlds fueled expectations for his artistic future.

Masashi Tentaku
Of Masashi Tentaku’s works, above all it was “KUDAMEMO” that showed off his talents best. His three-dimensional memo pads imitating apples and pears were superb. His talents will surely be applied broadly in the years ahead.

Selection Process
Among the 233 “new designers” (JAGDA members under age 40 as of October 31, 2010) featured in the 2011 JAGDA Annual, a total of 29 were nominated for JAGDA New Designer Awards. These consisted of entrants with one work garnering 8 of a possible 10 votes in a given category, or two or more works each receiving 6 or more votes. (Because the borderline number of votes needed for selection differed for each category, the Posters category, which had the largest number of entries, was used as the standard and scores were computer-adjusted accordingly.)
All featured works by the nominees were grouped together by designer, and the 19 members of the General Graphics Selection Committee (one member was unable to attend) undertook the preliminary round of voting, with each member allowed to cast up to 5 votes in total. The voting, carried out anonymously by filling out printed forms, produced a total of nine designers garnering 4 or more votes. The Committee members unanimously decided to narrow the field to these nine finalists.
In the second round of voting, the Committee members cast up to 3 votes in total, with each selecting the nominees he felt deserving of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Again, voting was indicated on written forms, with the provision that all voting members had to choose a full complement of three proposed winners. This time, a 1st-place vote was worth 3 points, 2nd place 2 points, and 3rd place 1 point.
This round of voting produced the following results: Daigo Daikoku 24 points / 11 votes, Masashi Tentaku 20 points / 9 votes, Junya Kamada 19 points / 8 votes, Yui Takada 17 points / 8 votes. The Committee members then discussed how best to make their final decision and devised the following method. Concerning Mr. Kamada and Mr. Takada, who had both received 8 votes, the Committee members took a final vote, each member casting 1 vote for either of these two candidates. Mr. Takada received 11 votes and Mr. Kamada 8.
As a result, the 2010 JAGDA New Designer Awards were awarded to Daigo Daikoku, Masashi Tentaku and Yui Takada.