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ATypI Tokyo 2019 Program

Wednesday, 4 September 19

09:30–00:30

Crash Course: Western Calligraphy

A working knowledge of Western calligraphy can be most helpful in speeding up one’s understanding of type design basics. This crash course will cover the two primary styles used in Western typography—roman and italics with the broad nib pen and the pointed pen. A deeper understanding of the relationships between tools and letterforms is expected… Continue reading Crash Course: Western Calligraphy

Thursday, 5 September 19

09:10–09:30

Invisible Letters, Invisible Languages

If we can’t see a language, does it exist? Of course it does, but in an increasingly computerized world, many languages remain invisible. Some languages have no writing system to be seen. Others are not necessarily accessible in the digital realm. What are the implications for these languages in light of today’s technologies? Computing in… Continue reading Invisible Letters, Invisible Languages

09:30–09:50

Japanese Typography, Lettering, and Commercial Art in the Early Twentieth Century

The Japanese writing system is one of the most complex in the world, despite language reforms in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries that prioritized standardization, legibility, and efficiency. During this period, the country also experienced a boom in consumerism that followed the Meiji Restoration, producing a demand for designers and lavish advertising art.… Continue reading Japanese Typography, Lettering, and Commercial Art in the Early Twentieth Century

09:50–10:10

Our New Typography: Dynamic Typesetting, Variable Fonts, and a Million Digital Devices

Modern developments on the web make it easier than ever to create robust, scalable, and elegant typographic systems. When we add variable fonts to the mix, things get really exciting. This presentation looks at how to combine all of these ingredients to create a whole new way of thinking about design on digital devices. We’ll… Continue reading Our New Typography: Dynamic Typesetting, Variable Fonts, and a Million Digital Devices

10:10–10:30

The History of Japan’s Era Name Square Ligatures

2019 represents a very important year for Japan: a new era named Reiwa (令和) began on May 1, 2019. Japan’s current and four previous era names are composed of two kanji (also known as ideographs). Japan’s Era Name Law (1979) explicitly requires this, and further states that the two kanji must be easy to read… Continue reading The History of Japan’s Era Name Square Ligatures

11:00–11:20

Hangul Type-Design Methodology: Making Revision Fun

The process of type design is a long, arduous journey. This is especially true for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK) scripts. It can be embarrassing to discover problems once a design is well underway. Sometimes it’s hard to think about fixing mistakes, even under supervision. But constant revision is an inevitable part of producing useful… Continue reading Hangul Type-Design Methodology: Making Revision Fun

11:20–11:50

Building a New Typography: Tangible and Intangible Heritages of Typographic Practice in India

India’s textual and typographic heritage can be considered to have four stages influenced by economic and political development: precolonial, colonial, postcolonial, and liberal. Because India is essentially an oral and manuscript culture, an argument can be made that Indian typographic and publishing practice has absorbed Western typographic norms to such an extent that vernacular ways… Continue reading Building a New Typography: Tangible and Intangible Heritages of Typographic Practice in India

11:50–12:10

From Bijin-ga to Brutus

One of the least known stories in Japanese graphic design history is the emergence of Sun Studio / サン・スタジオ, one of Japan’s very first graphic design studios. Sun Studio was run by poster designer Hokuu Tada / 多田北烏 (1889–1948), who influenced countless early graphic designers and typographers in Japan in the Taishō and Shōwa periods… Continue reading From Bijin-ga to Brutus

12:10–12:30

Bilingual Typographies across Chinese Magazines

This talk examines typographies across bilingual magazines from China to understand how design decisions relate to the reader’s experience. Independent magazines featuring primarily Chinese and English texts that concentrate on self-improvement through art and travel will be the focus here. Underpinning this presentation is research carried out during Salmonsen’s MATD dissertation at the University of… Continue reading Bilingual Typographies across Chinese Magazines

Sinhala Wood-Block Type

This presentation is about the history of woodblocks used in Sinhala newspapers from their inception to the 1990s. Focusing on wood-block compositions, Sumanthri Samarawickrama will take you through a timeline showing how retro Sinhala letters took shape. The aim of the talk is to shed light on the development of the Sinhala script and its… Continue reading Sinhala Wood-Block Type

14:30–14:50

Rediscovering the Beauty of Kana

Today’s Japanese texts differ greatly in appearance from those of 150 years ago. Back then, publications were printed with wooden printing blocks. This process allowed letters to be more varied in size and proportion, with each letter having its own unique features. In addition, scripts were always written in cursive, with connecting strokes between characters.… Continue reading Rediscovering the Beauty of Kana

14:50–15:10

Two Post-War Typographers and Modernism

This session introduces the audience to the work of two prominent post-war typographers and book designers in Japan: Etsushi Kiyohara and Helmut Schmid. Taro Yamamota carefully examines their unique interpretations, which were influenced by modernist styles imported from the West. He will also consider the historical conditions of typographic studies during the postwar era and… Continue reading Two Post-War Typographers and Modernism

15:10–15:30

Japanese Fat Faces from the Edo Period to Today

With their “ample” character, fat faces have existed in Japan since its inception. This talk focuses on fat faces from the Edo period to the present day. The political capital of Edo (the former name of Tokyo), nurtured many pop cultures, and in that environment, hand-painted letters on storefronts and quotidian consumer goods evolved to… Continue reading Japanese Fat Faces from the Edo Period to Today

15:30–16:00

A Typeface for Endangered Languages

This talk looks at Shima Shotai as an example of linguistic and cultural preservation. Shima Shotai is a typeface designed for the indigenous languages of Ryukyu (i.e., Okinawa), which are losing speakers and in fact face extinction. The typeface follows the unified writing system for the Ryukyuan languages and supports more letters and diacritics than… Continue reading A Typeface for Endangered Languages

16:30–16:50

Parametric Fallback Fonts for the Web

A common issue with multiscript typography arises when a graphic identity, originally designed with only Latin in mind, is later extended to cover other scripts—more often than not, the fonts lack the necessary characters. The problem becomes particularly acute on the web, where texts in scripts unforeseen by a site’s designers may need to be… Continue reading Parametric Fallback Fonts for the Web

16:50–17:10

Japanese Text Layout for the Future: Dynamic and Responsive Mojikumi

The role of text in the visual and aesthetic balance in the use of space in Japanese graphic design has been overlooked or misunderstood in the development of modern publishing technologies, especially when it comes to dynamic and responsive layout systems. Specifically, traditional metrics relating to the ideographic em-box are often not fully supported, and… Continue reading Japanese Text Layout for the Future: Dynamic and Responsive Mojikumi

17:10–17:30

Variable Fonts in Google Fonts

Google Fonts aims to make typography fast, easy, and open. The company met the advent of variable fonts with excitement, but not without reservations. Although variable fonts offer immense potential, they come with new complexities, placing the goal of “easy” somewhat at risk. Simplicity is a particular concern when starting from a user base that… Continue reading Variable Fonts in Google Fonts

17:30–18:00

Type1 Fonts: A Brief Biography

This talk covers the past and present support of Type1 fonts’ various software products and platforms. Type1 is an old font format introduced by Adobe; it was one of the first font formats that supported hinting. Most Type1 fonts were migrated to OpenType when that new format was introduced. But there are still Type1-font-based workflows… Continue reading Type1 Fonts: A Brief Biography

18:30–19:30

Grammatography

While something like a self-writing font may sound like a contradiction in terms at first blush, we also know that a typeface and a font are two different things. A font is a type in a particular size, weight, and style, and a typeface is a collection of fonts. And now that fonts are becoming… Continue reading Grammatography

Friday, 6 September 19

09:10–09:30

The Sans Serif in France: The Early Years (1834–44)

Sans serif types began to spread in England in the early 1830s and later became popular on the European continent. Their introduction and development in France remain only minimally researched and documented to this day. Although the first French sans serif types such as the “Lettres sans traits” (Marcellin-Legrand, Plassan et Comp. foundry) were influenced… Continue reading The Sans Serif in France: The Early Years (1834–44)

09:30–09:50

Building Hangul like an Architect: Utilizing Variable Fonts

As with Chinese and Japanese scripts, one of the biggest difficulties in developing Hangul fonts is the huge number of glyphs that need to be drawn. Fortunately, thanks to its scientifically based writing system, Hangul exhibits a predictable pattern and a relatively simple structure. Because of this regularity, designers have been able to systematize the… Continue reading Building Hangul like an Architect: Utilizing Variable Fonts

09:50–10:10

Ferdinand Theinhardt’s Legacy in Tibetan Typography

Berlin based punchcutter and typefounder Ferdinand Theinhardt (1820–1906) is usually associated with the design of early sans serif typefaces. Yet little is known of the pivotal role he played in printing works in characters for Tibetan and other writing systems of the world. Not much has been written about Theinhardt, especially not in a language… Continue reading Ferdinand Theinhardt’s Legacy in Tibetan Typography

10:11–10:30

Meetei Mayek: A Work in Progress

As a result of social and political changes in the early eighteenth century, Meetei Mayek (the indigenous script used in Manipur, a northeastern state of India) was replaced by the Bengali script for writing Meeteilon (the official language of Manipur). Nearly three hundred years later in 2005, this was reversed when Meetei Mayek was reinstated,… Continue reading Meetei Mayek: A Work in Progress

11:00–11:20

Typography for New and Better Readers: A Study of the Identification of Typographic Forms among Early Readers

With the goal of developing a typeface capable of performing well in children’s books, Dafne Martínez and Sandra García conducted an analysis of fonts used in reading-instruction books distributed in Mexican public schools. The pair based their research on prior studies, which indicated that the biggest hurdles children face when learning to read are presented… Continue reading Typography for New and Better Readers: A Study of the Identification of Typographic Forms among Early Readers

11:20–11:40

Age-Related Deficits and Their Effects on Reading

Older readers are more affected by suboptimal designs of typefaces, are more easily distracted by irrelevant elements in the text, are more sensitive to low contrast between foreground and background, and have greater difficulty tuning in to a specific typeface style. With growing age often comes some level of cognitive decrease, which is associated with… Continue reading Age-Related Deficits and Their Effects on Reading

11:40–12:00

In Search of ATypI

In 2018, the ATypI Board commissioned John D. Berry to begin researching and writing the first of a series of publications on the history of the organization. The Association was launched in 1957, but there was very little in the archives about the first ten years or so of ATypI’s existence. And there are vanishingly… Continue reading In Search of ATypI

14:00–14:20

Jin Xuan: The World’s First Crowdfunded East Asian Ideographic Typeface

In 2015, on flyingV (Taiwan’s Kickstarter), the company justfont proposed the Jin Xuan (金萱) font project. By the time the campaign closed, it had garnered nearly 26 million NTD (about $860,000), making it one of the most successful crowdfunding projects in Taiwan. It was almost an impossible story. Taiwan’s type industry had been suffering from… Continue reading Jin Xuan: The World’s First Crowdfunded East Asian Ideographic Typeface

14:20–14:40

The Quest for Modern Cyrillic

2019 is the year of the next Modern Cyrillic type design competition. The competition used to be very infrequent (the previous one was Modern Cyrillic 2014, and before that, Modern Cyrillic 2009), and many Cyrillic typefaces have been designed and released since the previous contest. Because the script is still developing (mostly in very detailed… Continue reading The Quest for Modern Cyrillic

14:40–15:00

45 Days of Khmer Type

45 Days of Khmer Type, inspired by the popular 36 Days of Type, is a new project that aims to promote Khmer type design, lettering, and calligraphy. In its first year, it received around six hundred submissions from more than twenty designers, who were interviewed by five different press outlets. 45 Days of Khmer Type… Continue reading 45 Days of Khmer Type

15:00–15:30

Two Revivals

This talk presents a comparison of two type-revival projects published in the book Reviving Type by Céline Hurka and Nóra Békés (written under the supervision of Frank E. Blokland). Two studies, which started out as a university assignment and then evolved into an independent research project, are woven together into a single volume: one study… Continue reading Two Revivals

15:30–16:00

Toward Better Guidelines for AR Typography

Fontworks is collaborating with Hirose/Tanikawa/Narumi labs in the department of Computer Science at Tokyo University and Hirota labs in the department of Information Engineering at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, on research into optimal typography for augmented reality (AR). Despite its short name, a lot of consideration needs to go into AR because of devices… Continue reading Toward Better Guidelines for AR Typography

16:30–16:50

Machine Learning and Type Design

Deep learning is a big trend in computer science these days. The deep-learning methods developed for the games Go and Shogi are well known, but there are successful cases in design, too. Typeface design is no stranger to deep learning, and multiple studies of automated design processes are currently underway. CJK is an area in… Continue reading Machine Learning and Type Design

16:50–17:10

The History of Hiragino’s Development from a Technical Perspective

Hiragino, one of the best-known typeface families in Japan, is ubiquitous. It was also among the first typefaces to have migrated from CID to the OpenType font format, and thus a number of dedicated tools had to be developed in order to produce it. What tools were used to make the family when there was… Continue reading The History of Hiragino’s Development from a Technical Perspective

17:10–17:30

Developing a Concept CJK Variable Font Based on Source Han Sans

This session details a personal project by Masataka Hattori at Adobe that examines what is required to develop a fully functional CJK variable font that supports design-variation axes other than for weight, and explores the one for width. A typical Western variable font would support axes not only for weight and width, but also for… Continue reading Developing a Concept CJK Variable Font Based on Source Han Sans

17:30–18:00

Contemporary Trends in Kanji Typography: Three Perspectives

This presentation was initiated by the Japan Typography Association, an organization that has been publishing the influential Japan Typography Annual for over half a century. Three leading typographers will offer their perspectives on the rising importance of kanji typography. Font designer Akira Kataoka will discuss the study and presentation of kanji typefaces; type designer Yoshimaru… Continue reading Contemporary Trends in Kanji Typography: Three Perspectives

18:30–18:50

Kawaka Ikehara, the Designer of the First Japanese Metal Types

Western typography was imported from the United States to Japan in the late nineteenth century. Its success is usually attributed to just two people: Tomiji Hirano and Shozo Motoki. Even though Kawaka Ikehara reportedly provided them with the original drawings and is thus potentially the source of all modern Japanese typefaces, he is a much… Continue reading Kawaka Ikehara, the Designer of the First Japanese Metal Types

20:50–19:10

Type. My Life.

Nobuo Morisawa, Akihiko Morisawa’s grandfather, was an inventor. In 1924, he co-invented phototypesetting. He theorized that Japanese could be typeset in an entirely monospaced way, and he successfully mechanized the technique. The Q and Ha units (0.25 mm) that were made in the process instead of points remain vital in Japanese typesetting to this day.… Continue reading Type. My Life.

Saturday, 7 September 19

09:10–09:50

Super Graphics; The possibilities of Type Scapes

基調講演 | スーパーグラフィック:タイプスケープの可能性

09:50–10:10

Designing an Energetic Typeface from Handwriting

A regular Japanese typeface is square by nature, but handwritten characters—the kind of characters one sees in correspondence and scribbled notes—enjoy more freedom. Japanese typography evolved into a square-based system for the sake of efficiency and legibility, but the appeal of handwritten forms has never gone away; people have always tried to break the square… Continue reading Designing an Energetic Typeface from Handwriting

10:10–10:30

Expressing Vocal Tones through Typography

声色のタイポグラフィ

11:00–11:20

A Type “Flavor Wheel”

Chromatics, the science of color, relies on tools like color chips, color solids, and color wheels as teaching devices. Coffee purveyors make use of flavor wheels to educate consumers about variations in the taste and aromatics of coffee. Arphic Technology is trying to develop a “flavor wheel” for type that classifies typefaces according to different… Continue reading A Type “Flavor Wheel”

11:20–11:40

The State of Progressive Font Enrichment

漸進的フォント補完技術の進捗状況

11:40–12:00

Callijatra: Reviving Ranjana Script in Nepal

カリジャトラ:ネパールのランジャナー文字の復刻

12:00–12:30

Tracking Kinetic Typography

動的タイポグラフィを追い求めて

12:30–13:00

“Lo-Res” Chinese: Toward a History of Non-Latin Bitmap Fonts

Type historians are well aware of early innovations in low-resolution font development by foundries and designers such as Emigre and Zuzana Licko. But what about the history of low-resolution screen and printer fonts for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other non-Latin scripts? In this talk, Stanford professor Tom Mullaney examines the history of the Sinotype III,… Continue reading “Lo-Res” Chinese: Toward a History of Non-Latin Bitmap Fonts

14:30–14:50

The Carrier of the Soul

A perhaps inevitable result of China being a nation of calligraphy is that a large percentage of Chinese typefaces are calligraphic. Over thousands of years, Chinese calligraphy has accumulated an abundance of resources for innovating and developing Chinese typefaces. Translating the unique, culturally rich art of calligraphy into practical typefaces nevertheless presents many difficulties. How… Continue reading The Carrier of the Soul

14:50–15:10

New Writing Manuals

新しい書字の手引き

15:10–03:30

The Evolution of Thai Loopless Script

タイ文字のループレス系書体の変遷

15:30–16:00

To Be, or Not to Be Read?

Sure, type foundries make functional font files for their customers, and in most cases the goal of these fonts is to display readable text (more or less). However, some designs seem deliberately to work against that goal. This presentation goes over some interesting diversity in Hanyi Fonts’ recent projects. Hanyi Fonts carried out multiple digital… Continue reading To Be, or Not to Be Read?

16:30–16:50

A Paradigm Shift: How Y. Nakamura’s Na-ru and Go-na Influenced the Japanese Type Design Industry in the 1970s

A seismic shift occurred in Japanese type design in the 1970s. The legendary designer Yukihiro Nakamura (1942–) is responsible for this change, which can almost be thought of as a paradigm shift. He created a rounded sans serif called Na-ru in 1973 and a sans serif called Go-na in 1975. These designs caused a stir… Continue reading A Paradigm Shift: How Y. Nakamura’s Na-ru and Go-na Influenced the Japanese Type Design Industry in the 1970s

17:00–17:45

News from Nowhere or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Doing Research in a Small European Country

基調講演 | 無名の地よりの知らせ:またはいかに欧州の小国で研究することへの不安を乗り越え、楽しむようになったか