The Komori 2017 calendar was created on the basis of ‘the image of wa.’ In view of the worldwide attention given to Japanese culture and traditions and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this work attempts a printing expression that communicates to the world the allure of Japanese beauty. As the image of wa, we selected exemplary works from the woodblock prints of Sekka Kamisaka, an artist of the modern Rinpa school active in the fields of painting and crafts from the Meiji to the early Showa era. The printing expression is a collaboration of Sekka’s bold, sophisticated modern style and contemporary printing technology. ‘Expansion,’ the calendar title, expresses the transformation and growth of Komori’s business. With the incorporation of digital printing technologies, symbolic of Komori’s new businesses, the cover was printed on an Impremia IS29 digital printing system. Printing with the Impremia IS29’s four-color UV inks vividly reproduces a color gamut that cannot be represented by CMYK process inks. The work is finished with a novel design: part of the cover is cut out with a laser cutter, and the background in combination with the frontispiece on the following page appears and disappears. The calendar design and printing method can be referenced by using the 2D code (link to a special page for the Komori calendar) on the header and the frontispiece. The six pages of the body employ printing expressions that combine UV offset special colors and several functional varnishes. In particular, the images in silver for the September–October and November–December pages are printed with K-Supply H-UV silver ink. The March–April and May–June pages printed by KGC are given a glistening aura in parts using very high luminance coater varnish (silver) to express the water surface and the edge of the lilies beautifully. The hydrangea flowers in the May–June work have a fine finish achieved by using a base coat of silver varnish to produce the effect of printing on silver foil. Also, a soft touch varnish is used for the leaves of the hydrangeas to provide a tactile variation in addition to the visual effect. The overall finish of the calendar uses craftsmanship to enclose the image with the washi of fusuma and shoji screens, redolent of Japanese culture, in a frame with karakami as its motif, hopefully allowing the viewer to imagine the wa of that age realized in the woodblock prints.
The starting point for the planning and production of the Komori calendar was unlike any other corporate calendar. Generally, the theme of the images and the materials are determined first and then the paper and printing specifications are considered. In contrast, Komori, as a manufacturer of printing presses, created the calendar by deciding the printing specifications at the outset and then considering the images and adjustment appropriate for these. This became a very worthwhile project. This calendar with works by Sekka Kamisaka has images that are ideal for expressing ‘colors,’ ‘textures’ and ‘Japanese beauty.’ The subtle style, however, is not capable of communicating millimeter-order precision. In design, though, I believe that having a balanced layout on a white ground can convey precision. In addition, we have used K-Supply ink since the 2016 calendar. This year the conditions of fine tuning with process ink went smoothly and we derived considerable, effect especially from the silver ink.