Archive for the ‘Type Design’ Category

ICOCA Card with typeface “Take”

Friday, June 20th, 2008

I had a few chances to get back to Kansai where my home town is in the past few days. I used to get on Hankyu Railway while I’d been in Hyogo pref., but now it is better to use JR West line for me because of easily access if I’ve got on Shinkansen, is the bullet train in Japan, when I get back to my home town from Tokyo. I always enjoy to watch the information display, which ran some commercials and information, on the ceiling inside a car.

I found a unique commercial for ICOCA card, is a prepaid card for JR West. A unique platypus character, named “Ico-chan”, introduced ICOCA card to the commuter how useful it was. Ico-chan explained about the ICOCA card with call-outs and subtitles. The subtitles used typeface “Take”, which means “bamboo”. “Take” has really unique straight strokes, but the skeleton is not stiff and really natural to my eyes. “Take” have Japanese taste and casual feelings so I would like to use it for package designs such as for Japanese snack foods or tea.

The typeface “Take” won the silver prize of Morisawa award 1993, which had been designed by him and was released as one of Morisawa Liblary last year. The Take’s type designer Mr. Naoyuki Takeshita knows typefaces well about not only Japanese font also Latin typefaces, he taught me what the typeface was immediately when he and I hanged around downtown together. He has his blog and posted several photos on Japanese typefaces which he found in downtown where he hanged around. Called “街でみかけた書体: Machi de mikaketa Shotai”, means the typeface which he found in downtown, is really interesting blog post. It was a pity it is Japanese language only, but you can see several kind of Japanese typefaces on the blog.

Type design in China

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

I found the results on the 4th Founder Award Competition in Chinese type design from Jongseong’s blog post on Typophile.

Mr. Akira Kobayashi of Linotype joined this competition as a jury last year, and he introduced it on his blog. Since I’d read it, I’ve been looking for the results of the competition.

The resultc of The 4TH “Founder Award” Competition on Chinese font Design and Poster Design (MS Word Document.)

The outline of the competition in English
The 4TH “Founder Award” Competition on Chinese font Design and Poster Design

I was surprised that some of winning designs have gray tone! It reminds me of a Sumi-e, means Ink-and-wash painting. Usually, we should design letters without gray scale tone for digital fonts, but if these design could be used for Flash movies or on monitors, designing letters without gray tone might be nonsense. I thought these strokes with ink bleed and blur seemed to express time goes by. Indeed, we can use gray scale or color to make fonts using BitFonter.

You can also see the results of the past three competitions.

I’m always thinking about how I should design Latin characters that goes with Japanese characters. I enjoyed to think about how I should design Latin characters which goes with these winning designs.

In fact, I don’t know well the situation on Type design in neighboring countries China and Korea, but I think I should introduce type designs in Asian countries like type designers in Arabic countries drastically introduce Arabic fonts to the other countries. Japanese people also use kanji characters but there are slightly different with the ones in China. I know most of people who check this blog might hardly use CJK fonts, but I hope I’ll be able to show you a topic on CJK fonts and typography.

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