Currency, competency and consciousness are the threewords I’m going to use in the following description and analysis of Ignat Makoto’s work. As well as being alliteratively awesome, these nouns actually describe the Japanese graphic designer and art director’s approach to design pretty accurately.
Fact: The whole point of a magazine is to visually please its viewer. Makoto’s work might go unnoticed. A lot of unknowing eyes would disregard the art direction of a magazine with that crappy attitude of thinking “You don’t have to be a graphic genius to come up with a good-looking layout.”
Those of us who understand design a bit more than the amateurs can see that Makoto is in fact a bit of a genius. He has the amazing skill of making something incredibly complex, composed of a variety of mediums look completely effortless. Alas, Makoto is incredibly competent. One could even say he is fantastic at what he does.
Makoto’s work is incredibly trendy. I don’t mean this in the tone of a complete hater; I mean it as a compliment. His work is very right here and now, contemporary, modern, current. The balance of photographs, handwritten segments and raised typography are a few examples of the way Makoto balances digital and analogue components - an extremely current characteristic of graphic design.
What I love most about Makoto’s work is that he seems a bit like a modern Charles Dickens, consciously translating his country’s urban setting perfectly into his graphic design. Japan is fascinating because of its history of the coexistence between city and nature, modernity and tradition, chaotic living and harmonious belief, all of which are present in Makoto’s work.
I bet you found it hard to believe that such perfect use of alliteration could be a true description of somebody’s work. Sometimes things just work out perfectly though. If you are still a bit skeptic I suggest you at least flip through his magazines and enjoy feeling like you are suddenly walking through a busy and beautiful modern city…
Words / Ana Gomides