The usage scope of typefaces has diversified and become more multifaceted. I feel that we are in an era that one typeface does not cover everything. From now on, we are required to have a clear concept and produce the most appropriate typeface for a specific purpose. Where to use, for what it will be used, what words, in what kind of context would you speak. There are a variety of methods to reach this. It can be an emotional process or a clear design concept. But keep it in mind that the important factor is that a character is a trajectory of the human hand. I expect fantastic works that I would never get tired of looking at.
Adobe Systems Co., Ltd.,
Typekit, Japanese typography, Chief Typeface Designer.
We are in an era where digital fonts are created and do not deteriorate unlike type. Therefore, it is important to figure out which aspect of the design should be valued. We no longer engrave lead and we rub ink less and less. It is crucial to find the same level of effort and value as the hard work designers and craftsmen in the past experienced rather than simply thinking fonts can be created as easily as they are now. Depending on your idea, you may exceed it, and there is not just one aspect to value. The more you concentrate on the frame around the letter, the deeper and wider you will wander. The possibilities are limitless. If you are in that situation, it is a good sign that fine work is being produced! Please try again and again through trial and error. The time and effort made will definitely be expressed in the final design. I am looking forward to provocative works.
Today we are used to looking at and using digital fonts. I feel a bit sense of exhilaration when I encounter something printed by letter press. It may be related to the origin and creation of the type, but it would recall a feeling which is not only a visual experience. I think the sense of metal touching the paper and fluffing the edge as well as the sense of trailing one’s fingers on the edge inspires other senses such as hearing and taste.
Among many high-quality fonts, it will be nice to look for the potential forms that would induce senses other than the visual in new typefaces. I am looking forward to encountering typefaces with fresh senses.
GRAPH representative director.
My favorite typefaces follow two paths.
One appears to be a seemingly normal typeface. It feels simple, however, upon closer inspection one finds new details and twists as if the God is in it. Despite this simplicity, it has a form that I would never tire of looking at and is easy to read.
The other would astonish me and lead me to wonder how the creator’s came up with this idea. But it is avant-garde and has a challenging creativity with a glimpse of extremely advanced and intelligent conception at the base of production.
Both typefaces have a different appearance, however I guess both would be produced with the following two points of views in common.
First, the ability to see the history from a deeper perspective. Second, the ability to lead on to think “there are things I do not know”, which leads on to scientific thinking.
I regret that I never entered this competition myself. I remember hearing about it when I was a student. I was too intimidated to send anything in though.
I’m still confident that my student work never would have won a prize. However, entering might have pushed me to work a bit harder, try something more daring, or start something new. Who knows? It was an opportunity that I didn’t take.
I know from experience that the judges take the time to look at every entry. Plus, this year we are new group with fresh energy, diverse experience, and lots of strong opinions. When we meet in Osaka for the judging, it will be an exciting and spirited few days of typographic exultation.
Whether you are student or a professional, don’t make the mistake I made. Enter the Morisawa Type Design Competition! I will look forward to seeing your typefaces—conventional or experimental, serif or sans, text or display, giant families or single styles—everything is welcome.
Type design is a very specific area; in fact, it is magical to some extent.
I remember the sheer delight I felt at seeing how large-scale forms and contours transformed into letters of my text in just one click and could be brought to life by pressing the keys on the keyboard. I still experience this somewhat childish feeling sometimes.
Over the last few years, I have met plenty of young designers who are passionate about type design. The type industry is growing and getting younger, which is great. This is why such events as the Morisawa Type Design Competition are momentous, even compulsory.
The Morisawa Type Design Competition is a unique industry event that offers an opportunity to see your true potential in a tough competition and a serious chance to move on to the professional level. Make sure you don’t miss it!
Typefaces by Ilya Ruderman: BigCity Grotesque Pro, Kazimir, Permian (a typeface-brand for the city of Perm) and Cyrillic versions of: Austin, Dala Floda, Graphik, Marlene, MoMA Sans, Typonine Sans, Thema.
For many years I have been following Morisawa’s typeface design competition – maybe the most prestigious award in the field. In the 1990s it was my introduction to contemporary type design and where I learned the names of designers I want to remember and keep an eye on. Taking part in the competition can act as catalyst for your career and a big motivational milestone. It can be the testing ground for daring new designs as well as interesting historical pursuits, and I am looking very much forward to see your submissions.
I encourage you to submit your typeface to the Morisawa Award, don’t miss the opportunity to show your talent to the world. It is highly challenging and rewarding work because is part of you. I hope yours will be the chosen among all the submissions because of its functionality, personality, and well-crafted design, all qualities required for a good typeface, able to communicate and emotion at the same time.
The Emeritus Jury
The last round of the Morisawa Type Design Competition, held in 2016, received twice the number of entries as the previous round. This excellent response produced winners in a diversity of styles that reflected the healthy state of contemporary type design. The jurors in the Latin Category were happy to find that a high proportion of entries came from students and recent graduates, evidence of the increased enthusiasm for the teaching of type design in schools. In the Kanji Category an equally encouraging trend has been a stronger emphasis on calligraphy.
During my own involvement with the Competition, dating back to 1992, I have seen it grow in international prestige as Morisawa has continued to further the state of the art by rewarding the best work of both established and emerging type designers. I’m sure that designers of all levels of experience will be inspired by the results of 2016 to enter this next Competition in even greater numbers.
From time to time over the history of the Competition the four-member jury in each category has changed to bring fresh points of view to the challenging task of selecting winners. This time three of the four members of each jury are newly appointed. I wish them the same happy satisfaction that my fellow jurors and I have always found in taking part in this special event.