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The best thing about graphic design is how closely it traces the mood of the day. If Japan over the last decade has been characterized by wishy-washy men who don’t eat meat and a kind of wobbly-legged indecisiveness in response to the rise of China, then the graphic designer who has best catered to — and, inevitably, encouraged — that mindset is 45-year-old Kazunari Hattori.

For a print advertisement for a low-fat mayonnaise, he threw a cake up in the air and photographed it, slightly blurry in flight, against a wide blue sky. For the cover of a French-Japanese dictionary he forwent the usual authoritarianism of a heavy serif font, replacing it instead with a fine black text so wispy that the “s” in “Francais” is almost straight.

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