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Japanese Adverising Design

Text-intensive ads I

Some Japanese ads contain only text, no images.
The copywriting in such cases must be strong and
carefully calibrated to external conditions, e.g., setting,
current events, trends. The typographicdesign also must
be masterful, as deft as the calligraphic layout of a print.
The copy asserts something bold or subtle, whose
relationship with the product is interesting or humorous.
The product name must appear somewhere in the ad, to
clinch or close the assertion.
It is probably useful for American readers to know that
in Japan,ad copywriters can be media stars, who appear
frequently as personalities on television variety and talk
shows. There is nothing equivalent to this in America.
Clearly, great attention and respect is accorded to writing
and reading in Japan, where commuters all have a book or
newspaper before them (at least in the morning!).
In the present example, sumi ink and calligraphy is employed.
The calligraphy sets up an intimacy between audience and
message source, and also a bunka-teki, or cultured,

Copyright Orie 2000