Design Events Typography

That’s Entertainment!

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Ian Lynam is a Tokyo-based dude I love so much, and embarrassingly it’s just now that I’m catching up on the fantastic essay/exhibition he produced earlier this year called “That’s Entertainment!” Get some background through this TypeThursday interview, and then get online and read through the project’s main essay — and that’s also where you can download plenty of digital material to take in the rest of the project, like all of the posters that were part of the exhibition.


Design Photography Tokyo Walking Typography

Street Typography


Lately I’ve been really enjoying the “nodoca” and “typosanpo” accounts on Twitter, that share photos of signs — and their typographic messages — in Japan. I’ve also come across this page by Tokyo-based designer Dan Vaughan, where he’s doing the same thing.

The photo in this post is from this tweet.

Design Magazines Technology

Wired Type Missteps

Just over a week ago the latest issue of Wired (September 2010) was released for iPad, and as I’ve done for all issues released for the device so far, I immediately bought it. Yes, despite the less-than-perfect way they’ve handled the digital conversion of the magazine, I’ve been enjoying the magazine, not only because of its nice price — for us Tokyo expats that is, although I still want an even cheaper subscription option — but also because I like the way it reads, and the way the material is presented (and those videos have been quite good too).

BUT, I was pretty surprised at some rather ridiculous flubs in the latest issue, both cases tied to the use of type. First example, pictured above, is an entire story — which also happens to be part of the issue’s cover story, “The Web is Dead,” which means it’s long — presented as white text on a red background. Really? Did anyone at Wired actually try reading the article after it was set in those colors? My eyes were practically in tears by the time I got to the end.

Next up was the use of type too tiny to read. The image above shows said article in landscape mode, and that “Buried” piece is where you encounter the problem — interestingly (if that’s the right word) enough, if you change it to portrait mode, it’s the page’s other article that becomes barely readable.

The big issue here is that these problems are tied to the fact that you can’t change type size in the magazine. So far it hasn’t been an issue for me because all previously issues were formatted in a way that made all text very readable on the iPad screen. I can appreciate that adjustable type size would ruin layouts, and I do like the layouts we’re offered in the magazine, but you can’t sacrifice readability just to make sure a column fits somewhere, or to attain a certain aesthetic (in the case of white type on red).


Enroll at Temple Now

For the upcoming semester starting in January at Temple University Japan, Ian Lynam wil again be teaching his “All About Typography” (TYP101) class, and also introduce a new one, “Image Making” (IMA101). Below, details on both classes.

Image Making (IMA101)

In the contemporary world of graphic design, designers must be able to not only convey information, but do so in ways that are engaging and entertaining. Image Making teaches strategies for creating unique visual form to incorporate into graphic design projects. A hybrid of manual, analog, and digital processes including drawing, collage, manipulating found imagery, pattern-making, and typographic assemblage will be utilized to help students with the goal of the class: for each student to create a 100-page book of a range of form-making styles that will greatly benefit their professional portfolios.

The class will work together to explore different formal and conceptual strategies for creating new and exciting visual illustration. This class will appeal to graphic designers interested in both print and web, illustrators, fine artists, and students with an interest in editorial illustration. It will also appeal to designers and illustrators working within a signature style, as the strategies utilized will help loosen up professionals, push boundaries, and create new work.

This class is a studio class but will require a bit of homework for visual research (collecting source material and light reading).

All About Typography (TYP101)

An in-depth look at typography (designing with fonts) for both beginners and experienced practitioners. This class is a working examination of Western typography including lectures on type history, type classification, and contemporary practice.

Practical exercises, as well as in-class critiques will help broaden students’ understanding of typography practically and critically

The class will conduct projects to explore typographic styles, learn correct typesetting practices, and increase design acumen. The class will host guest lectures by some of Japan’s top graphic designers. The class is Mac-based, but will apply equally to PC-based environments.



Ian Lynam has designed a new font, now available for purchase at MyFonts. Ensenada is “based on hand-cut lettering that adorns businesses throughout the city of Ensenada in Baja California in Mexico.”


Typography 101

Ian Lynam is teaching the Typography 101 class again this semester at Temple University Japan — today (September 29) is the last day you have to enroll, with the class starting tomorrow. Ian describes the class in this post over at META no TAME, and you can sign up here.


Kinshachi Font Project

SHOTYPE‘s Kunihiko Okano covers on the Tokyo-based foundry’s blog the Kinshachi font project, an interesting new endeavor that looks to create a new city-specific typeface for Nagoya — it’s part of the larger Cityfont Project, developed by Type Project’s Isao Suzuki.