Western Culture Influences on Taiwanese Trademark Design during Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945)
Tsun Hsiung Yao, Mei Yun Hsu

Taiwan’s past presents the interweaving of its immigration and colonial experiences to create a history in which many cultures encounter one another. This history is further reflected in commercial visual presented in everyday public life. Within this culture, the impact of the Western culture during the Japanese colonial period is the most evident. Therefore, this study investigates design materials relevant to Taiwanese trademark design in the Japanese colonial period to determine how Western culture was disseminated and influenced the design manifestation and visual culture of this period. In its scope, and the specimens it utilizes, this study includes designs utilized for product identity, marketing and providing product information in product logos, labels, package, posters, advertisement, and other mediums which appeared during the Japanese colonial period (1895-1945). Firstly, through an examination of historical literature and research specimens, it explores the social backdrop for trademark design during the Japanese colonial period. In addition, this study analyzes the development and the manifested characteristics of Taiwanese trademark design of this period, as well as how the influence of Western culture was introduced, from the perspective of the sociology of art and research on popular mass culture.After investigating the social backdrop of Taiwanese trademark design during the period of Japanese rule, and analyzing the path by which Western culture was introduced to Taiwan, we can categorize the influence of Western culture on trademark design during this period into the four following manifestations: imitation of the design of imported products; the adoption of graphics from Western visual culture and styles; the utilization of mainstream Western artistic trends as reference; and the combination of Western and Eastern symbolism. Furthermore, during the course of this study we found Taiwanese trademark design during the Japanese colonial period was not directly influenced by Western culture, nor was it impacted by the direct introduction of this culture. Rather, it was a “refraction” created by the indirect introduction of Western culture to the colonized Taiwan after it had been studied and accepted by the Japanese colonial empire.

Full Text: PDF       DOI: 10.15640/ijaah.v4n2a5