Pictograms in Japan

Japan has an interesting history with making simple picture-related signage aimed at helping bridge the gap for inbound visitors who don’t know Japanese. Most famously, in February of 1964, a group of artists and designers created a ‘design office’ in order to create a set of pictograms for use around the capital city during the 1964 Olympics. As the next Tokyo Olympics is just around the corner, this is a good opportunity to revisit the story of pictograms in Japan, then and now.
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