[LINE] I want to convey a consistent message globally. Corporate font "LINE Seed JP" developed from a BX perspective


LINE Corporation, which develops the communication app "LINE" that connects people, information, and services, is expanding its business not only in Japan but also globally, aiming for a new form of communication in the new era.

The corporate font "LINE Seed" is being developed as part of the LINE branding. Starting with the European language (English, numbers, symbols) released globally in 2020, development of the Japanese language will start in February 2021. The Japanese typeface "LINE Seed JP" was jointly developed by Korean font maker Fontrix and Fontworks.

This time, we invited Weight Yanaginuma, Shuhei Yokota, and Hwang Seong-won from the LINE CREATIVE CENTER BX design room, who were involved in the LINE Seed JP project, to develop the corporate font. I asked about the background of

Weight Yaginuma, LINE CREATIVE CENTER BX Design Office
Mr. Shuhei Yokota
Ms. Huang Shengyuan

Global corporate font for consistent branding in different Language

――I understand that Mr. Yaginuma, Mr. Yokota, and Mr. Huang, who are here today, were in charge of design and specification confirmation and production in the development of Japanese corporate fonts. First of all, could you tell us about the BX design room that you all belong to?

Mr. Yokota: The BX Design Office, to which we belong, is an organization that is mainly responsible for offline creatives and responsible for LINE's brand identity in a broad sense. BX is an abbreviation for “Brand Experience”. The mission of BX designers is to shorten the distance between users and services by solving problems through design, and establish it as a platform for daily life. We are working on the brand of each service and experience design through it.

――Specifically, what kind of production are you most often involved in?

Mr. Huang: I usually work on a wide range of products, such as service logos and icons, as well as Event key visuals and novelties. So we ourselves have many opportunities to use fonts.

――Please tell us about the main subject, the font. LINE Seed Sans began with the development of a European font released in 2020, and has since expanded to Korean and Japanese LINE Seed JP.

Yaginuma: First of all, we at LINE have a mission to "bring the distance between people, people, and information/services around the world." Based on this, the Creative Center, which is responsible for the domestic creative field, is working under the mission of "creating better designs from the user's point of view with a systemized design strategy and shortening the distance between users and LINE". increase.
In order to realize consistent branding as a global company, we are developing a Language that has a common brand image in many countries where LINE services are deployed. We are LINE Seeds. The Japanese language development started in February 2021.

European font "LINE Seed Sans" released in 2020

――You mentioned that you would like to have a globally shared brand image, but what do you focus on in creative?

Yaginuma: It's about being consistent and unwavering. I want to be able to unify the image properly even if the Language of communication changes. This also leads to the development of corporate fonts that can support various Language.

Mr. Yokota: In terms of better design, we value user-friendliness. I think that functionality that conveys what you want to convey in a flash is required for creatives as a whole.

――I heard that after the European LINE Seed Sans was completed, it was used in combination with existing Japanese typefaces. When the LINE Seed JP project started in February 2021, did you already have a solid image of the Japanese typeface?

Mr. Yaginuma: It was decided that we would develop it for European languages, but after that, we gradually came to see what kind of typeface would actually be good as we interacted with everyone at Fontworks. We also have a lot of things to grope for...

――Being involved in font development itself is not that kind of thing, is it?

Mr. Yokota: Even if I work as a designer, I rarely get involved in the development of Japanese typefaces. I think it was a valuable opportunity.

Yaginuma: When I was assigned to the project, I was really excited. But I didn't know there were so many Japanese characters. I think that the members involved had a vague idea of how difficult it would be, but it was more than what they had imagined.

Familiar and universal Full of commitment
Japanese typeface "LINE Seed JP"

――Then, please tell us about the LINE Seed JP that you produced this time. First of all, I would like you to tell me what you aimed for with this typeface.

Yaginuma: We aimed to create a universal Japanese typeface that is familiar and has the beauty of shapes unique to Japanese, while making the most of the features of LINE Seed Sans, the English corporate font. I think this friendly typeface will also lead to the user-friendly attitude that we are aiming for.
LINE Seed is a font that will be developed in various Language around the world, so I think it's a big feature to emphasize the balance with other Language. In particular, I was particular about the balance between the size, Weight, and height of the European and Japanese texts, and checked the details in detail.

――In terms of the characteristics of the shape, it has rounded corners and geometric features that are common to the original European script. Also, a Fontworks designer said, "I feel a sticky feeling."

Mr. Yaginuma: It feels sticky! ? I heard that for the first time.

Mr. Yokota: I feel like I understand a little.

――Simple but friendly, stylish yet user-friendly may make you think so. I also heard that our designers often gave detailed feedback based on numerical values and rules, but do you still value logical thinking in your designs?

Yokota: If anything, what we value is whether LINE's brand identity is expressed. I paid particular attention to confirming that there was design consistency within each character. I think that's why I gave feedback based on the numbers.

For example, in order to create a modern yet familiar impression, we rounded the corners of the letters and focused on the beauty of the relaxed curves to create a font with a LINE-like expression. In addition, I gave feedback to make the “harai” a little shorter, and to make the angles and sizes of the dakuten as uniform as possible.
All of the characters you suggested were wonderful, but if there were any differences from what we wanted to protect, such as consistency and LINE-ness, we asked them to make fine adjustments, and each time they responded politely. It was impressive.

The completed “LINE Seed JP”. Kana is round and has a calm expression. The feature is that the bosom is wide while incorporating many curves

――When we heard about it at our company, we learned that for designers who design letters on a daily basis, ``the shape of letters is like this,'' but from a different perspective than Type Designers, ``I want to do more.'' He said that he had a lot to learn.

Mr. Yokota: I think there are differences in what we are conscious of in the design. I think that the original form of Japanese is very important in typeface production, but from our point of view, rather than the original form of the characters, we pursue the consistency of the form itself in front of us. But there is. I think that the important part of this project was to coordinate and put together while balancing each other.
In the confirmation work, I printed out all the characters I was working on and lined them up. While looking at the things spread out on the desk, we discussed, "What do you think about this?"

Actually check one character at a time

--That's daunting. There are over 7,000 kanji characters.

Mr. Yokota: But it was a meaningful experience with many discoveries.

Mr. Huang: "This character has lines that are in contact with each other, but other characters with similar construction are separated. I don't know why."
I'm talking about consistency with the same weight, but it was also difficult to check whether the impression was maintained when comparing with different weights. We put particular emphasis on whether the thinnest and thickest weights can be lined up to look like the same typeface.

Expanded with all 4 weights

The corporate font is the “voice” of the brand
A unique typeface unique to LINE

――At the time of this interview, I believe that final adjustments were being made, but how is the reception within the company?

Mr. Huang: We conducted an in-house survey and confirmed that it can be used without problems in a wide range of creative production environments such as product design, Video production, and space design.
Until now, we used a combination of specified European and Japanese texts, so we needed to make fine adjustments. We have received positive feedback that it is.
After the release, we plan to use it widely in various scenes such as LINE's business activities and Event.
In addition, it will be open to the public and anyone can use it.

――For those of you who were involved in the project, what were your impressions after using LINE Seed JP?

Mr. Yokota: First of all, I thought it was easy to use. You can feel the unity in the sentences, and the “bosom” is wide and soft, but it is also firm. I think it will come together nicely and sharply when assembled.

Huang: Yes. Simplicity is important when expressing LINE-ness in design, and the tone and manners are fixed, but I'm happy that the addition of LINE Seed JP has created an overall sense of unity.

Japanese-European mixed planting set sample

――Many companies that create corporate fonts only use Western characters or kana, so I think it is rare to create an original font that can support such a wide range of Language. Why are you working so thoroughly on this?

Mr. Yokota: The role of corporate fonts is very important for LINE to carry out consistent branding as a global company. I think that corporate fonts can be said to be the “voice” of a brand, and even if the Language of communication changes, if the typeface is unified, the message can be conveyed with the same tone.
We believe that through this font development, we have been able to give a simple and user-friendly impression with a one-of-a-kind typeface unique to LINE for any occasion.

――It was a very valuable opportunity for Fontworks. I am looking forward to seeing LINE Seed JP being used a lot in the future. Thank you for today.

Fontworks' official note provides a detailed explanation of the LINE Seed JP font. Please take a look at this as well.

LINE's Japanese corporate font "LINE Seed JP" is born. A thorough explanation of the details!

The official LINE note will soon be releasing a discussion article between Weight, Shuhei Yokota, and Huang Shengyuan from the Creative Center BX Design Department and Fontworks Type Designers Shigenobu Fujita and Shunya Morita.

The font files are also available for free on the LINE Seed website, so please take this opportunity to try them out.
*Please be sure to read the license policy before use.

At Fontworks Fukuoka Creative Lab
From the left, Mr. Yokota, Mr. Yaginuma, Mr. Huang, Fujita from our company, and Morita

Articles in the same Categories


Related article