The Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) established this award in 1957, following earlier examples of ‘Good Design’ awards schemes such as the Compasso d'Oro established by the Italian department store La Rinascente in 1954. The scheme was originally intended to encourage Japanese designers to produce original designs rather than imitate foreign products. The G‐Mark itself was a special logo designed by Yusaka Kamekura that could be applied to products following their recognition as design exemplars by the Good Design Selection System. The selection of such products was made by specialist committees and was a responsibility of the Design Promotion Council that had been established in 1957 under the wing of MITI. The aim was to encourage high standards of design and innovation in Japanese industry. Nonetheless, in its earlier years the scheme was not without its severe critics in the design world, many of whom felt that it favoured consumer products rather than industrial equipment, the latter being ineligible until the range of award categories was expanded in 1984, when exemplars of overseas design were also eligible. Early winners of the G‐Mark award included a Canon 8T 8‐millimetre movie camera, (1957), a Toshiba rice cooker designed by Yoshiharu Iwata in 1954 (award winner in 1958), Sori Yanagi's aluminium Speed kettle manufactured by Nikkei (1958), and oil and vinegar bottles designed by Saburo Funakoshi and manufactured by Hoya Glass Works (1960). In 1975 organization of the scheme was assigned to the Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization (established 1969) and in 1984 was expanded to include products from overseas. During the G‐Mark's lifespan awards were made to almost 27,000 products. The scheme was reborn in 1998 as the Good Design Award.See also Design Awards.
Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.