Archive for October, 2009

Automotive Designers’ Night Tokyo

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

A bunch of designers were coming to Automotive Designer’s Night Tokyo which was held at AXIS gallery, in Roppongi, Tokyo, titled Kurumaza 車座, literary means sitting in a circle, 車 means car in Japanese, as a pre-event of Tokyo Motor Show 2009. The room was packed and loud, so it was hard to catch what neighbors are saying. Attendees might discuss and talked about something hot topic related to car vehicles or ecology issues. The medias reported the Tokyo Motor Show was shrinking because of the withdrawal of Euro and US car makers, but the room was warming up and seemed to be no sign of descending car market but filled with emotions to the future.

The sponsor companies showed its products there, Denso previewed Good Design Award 2009 Frontier Design Award Winner Driver’s font and provided the series of business card-sized papers to applicants. They could get the cards with their name printed by Driver’s font. It contained 4 cards, 3 styles of Driver’s font, Driving, Neutral and Sports Mode, plus a serial number card. There seem to be a lot of hurdles in order that Driver’s font will be available in automotive instruments, but I hope the fonts will be welcomed by car makers.

The series of cards provided by Denso at Automotive Designer’s Night Tokyo.

Tokyo Motor Show 2009 will be held from October 23rd through November 4th.

Three font-related works got the Good Design Award

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization announced the results of the Good Design Award 2009 on October 1st. Good Design Award is the only annual comprehensive design commending system in Japan, and the award-winning works get the right to show the G-mark for its promotion on the several kind of media by paying annual fee. The award winning works in 2009 contained three font related works.

Driver’s font
Driver’s font designed by Type Project collaborated with Denso, is the supplier mainly car equipments and air conditioner, got the Frontier Design Award.

Driver’s font was designed to support car drivers in 2007 as a prototype work, which is now in progress to develop, based on the assumption in light of the research for driver’s situation.

While driving a car, a driver needs to concentrate gazing forward and have to glance at information on the equipment panels such a speed mater or car navigation system. The driver recognizes the information by remembering the image what the panels showed after glancing at the panels. The driver repeats these actions concentrating forward. The interval to check panels will change depends on its car speed. To keep the impressions that driver imprinted, the letters needs to be required clear legibility and generating strong impressions. Driver’s font gives driver stabilized visual images by modulating letters along with car speed. When the car in high speed, the letters become a bit bolder to enhance strong images to the driver, on the other hand, the car is staying, the letter looks calm by showing the letter thinner.

Driver’s font has three styles, Urban mode and Enthusiast mode, plus Enthusiast Italic “Power Band”mode for Sports mode. The letters in Enthusiast mode enhanced the characteristics of the letters such as the terminals and thickness of the strokes and serifs, compared with the Urban mode, which helps drivers be able to easily catch the letters on the panels in high speed.

Reference: AXIS magazine vol. 136 contains an article on Driver’s font.

Iwata Universal Design font
Iwata Universal Design font got the Life-Scape Design Award. This font is the pioneer of the Universal Design font trend in Japan. Universal Design font, abbreviated UD Font, is becoming popular in Japanese typeface market after Iwata’s UD font was released in 2006. Above all, Product design field welcomed to use UD fonts designing products with Universal Design philosophy. Iwata collaborated with Panasonic, is the major home-electronics, audio and visual device maker, to make its UD fonts in order to help those with weak-eyes and aged-eyes. The other type foundries followed to make UD fonts.

Fontpark 2.0
MORISAWA Fontpark 2.0 designed by Yugo Nakamura (tha ltd, in 2008 is a unique attraction interface. User can play to draw a picture using strokes and elements of letters from Morisawa Font Library. And it is available to save the picture to the web site, then visitors can watch the archives replaying making process of the work. Enjoy this font park.