It’s 2012 and that means the biannual CS Design Design Awards are back for their… 30th year! They’re accepting applications now so I won’t be posting about results until later this year. If you’re interested, you can read about the 2010 awards.

But today I wanted to focus on a different aspect of the event: the posters. Except for the first 4 years, the CS Design Award posters have been illustrated by legendary graphic designer Kazumasa Nagai. Currently in his 80s, Nagai is responsible for such iconic corporate logos as (click to view) Japan Railways, Nissin, Mitsubishi UFJ and the now notorious TEPCO (which is unfortunate, to say the least, but that’s a different story).

When it came to poster design, Nagai had a penchant for using animals and patterns to create unique, timeless and visually dynamic imagery. Take a look at the posters he did for the CS Design Awards, including the latest for 2012. It’s fascinating to see how they started off dark and exotic – some are almost sinister – and progressed to what can currently be described as minimal and cute. If you like Nagai’s work there’s a great collection of posters over on Pink Tentacle.

5th 1998

all images courtesy CS Design Awards

6th 1990

7th 1992

8th 1994

9th 1996

10th 1998

11th 2000

12th 2002

13th 2004

14th 2006

15th 2008

16th 2010

17th 2012