Shiseido’s design sefforts began with the relatively primitive advertisements undertaken around the time of the company’s founding, but it did not take long before the company aesthetic was being developed by a group of leading creative professionals whom founding president Shinzo Fukuhara had assembled into a full-fledged “Design Department.” Further refinement through the Art Nouveau and Art Deco sensibilities of graphic designer Ayao Yamana eventually brought to fruition a “Shiseido style” known for its delicacy and graceful elegance.
From the late 1960s on, however, the changing times called for this traditional “Shiseido style” to be challenged in various ways. But even while these attempts were sometimes referred to as “anti–Shiseido style,” they presented customers and society in general with a surprising freshness, and in the process helped Shiseido broaden its creation of new value.
For the latter half of 2018, the Shiseido Corporate Museum will present “Shiseido’s Design — Let the Product Speak for Itself,” a follow-up exhibition to the “Shiseido’s Design — A challenge to Create New Values” show earlier in 2018. In addition to the posters and advertisements like those featured in the first half, this latter exhibition will present 30 products created by Shiseido during the 1950s and beyond.
Along with the posters and advertisements giving a sense of the changing zeitgeist, these various products and the forms they represent give full voice to the Shiseido approach to quality and design—a fine demonstration of Shinzo Fukuhara’s long-held philosophy of “letting the product speak for itself!”