It all started with an album cover. While browsing his local record store decades ago, Hideki Nakajima was struck by a design by Peter Saville. Since then, he has continued to design his own album covers, create the unique look of Japanese entertainment magazine CUT, and influence generations of designers both at home and abroad.
And now, in Hideki Nakajima: Made in Japan, the self-taught designer has compiled a comprehensive and personal take-back on his career so far. Released to coincide with a solo exhibition in Beijing that recently began, the book also contains previously unseen works by Hideki.
When it came to designing the book and deciding which pieces it should include, Hideki’s rigorous and thoughtful work ethic came into play. “I revised and created the book over and over again,” a- he told Creative Boom. “In addition, as the number of pages of the book had not yet been decided, I continued to explore the composition of the book until the very last minute, comparing the estimates with the printing press and the number of pages. . “
The result is an utterly astonishing book that Hideki ranks as one of his favorite pieces, alongside CUT magazine, posters for an exhibition in Hong Kong, and record cover designs for Ryuichi Sakamoto, all of which appear in its pages.
“If I hadn’t made this book, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to think about it,” says Hideki, surprised to find that his pieces number in the tens of thousands. “All of them were made without compromise. The quality was maintained naturally. “
Unsurprisingly, given this approach to design, contemporaries and subsequent generations have learned to hold his work in high regard. The likes of Adrian Shaughnessy, Emily King and Toru Hachiga all share their thoughts in the new book to help explain his rebellious and creative mastery.
But how did preparing for the new book make Hideki feel about his work? “I don’t think it’s wrong to call myself a rebel,” he explains. “I am careful not to be what is already there or what is similar. I am constantly looking and wanting to find something new.”
As well as being an incredible look back on his brilliant career, Hideki also hopes the book reminds designers and non-designers of the unique appeal of printed design. “Today everything we do is done through an online platform,” he explains. “I want everyone to see the freedom you can have with printing when you design.”
He adds: “The design executed exclusively online fades away like a memory. Printing, on the other hand, remains an object. I want people to be interested in the matter of things.
Hideki Nakajima: Made in Japan is available for purchase now. If you are interested in purchasing it, please contact this address.