Inspiration: Ikko Tanaka

I came accross the Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka when I visited Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. There is a small poster exhibition in the Design Museum, displaying his “faces” posters.

I was impressed by his particular style, which is a fantastic fusion of contemporary graphic design and traditional Japanese Art. Since this exhibition only showed faces, I found it interesting to see his different ways of visualising faces in his art.

His design is simple, uses geometrical forms, brigh colours, and Japanaese elements. This example shows how simple, yet ingenious his designs are. He creates the face from different shapes and colours, and creates an overall image that clearly shows a Geisha, symbolizing the influence from Japanese culture.

Some examples of his work can be also found at It’s Nice That online. I love the bright colours and simplicity, which is something that in my view makes a great poster. His designs clearly grab the attention and are very expressive.

I think one idea that I take from his work is to take specific geometric shapes, and by assembling them in a certain way to create a new image or scene.



It’s Nice That. “Looking back at the ultra-prolific Ikko Tanaka and his stunning graphic design” by James Cartwright. Published on August 13, 2012. [Accessed on April 1, 2018]. URL “IKKO TANAKA: FACES. POSTERS”. [Accessed on April 1, 2018].  URL

Google Picture Search. “Ikko Tanaka Faces”. [Accessed on April 1, 2018]. URL

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