[Font designer planning] Commitment to the design and production of "Gospel-EB" Interview with Takayuki Kuwahara


In this corner, we will focus on "Gospel-EB" and introduce the features of design, how fonts are used, and the history of typefaces that we asked to font designers.

“Gospel-EB” is characterized by a thick weight and a “smooth” element design right above the beginning and end strokes, giving the impression that black fonts tend to be heavy, light and comical. It is a font that can be shown to.

Because of its design, it is used not only in catchy titles such as Advertisement but also in short lead texts and telops for variety programs. Especially, since it is a font that is often used with cute pictures, you may wonder if a font designer who specializes in fonts with a strong design is created. However, in fact, it is created by designer Takayuki Kuwahara, who also deals with fonts that are more important than designability, such as "home appliances".

This is the first font release from Fontworks, but I think that many people have already seen the fonts created by Kuwahara in their daily lives.

Please tell us how and why you became a font designer.

Writing character sample
I used a tool to draw ukiyo-e ruled lines, cut a bamboo ruler into a good thickness, and used a brush with a sharp tip to write letters. The writing sample is a collection of Namiki Studio so that the editor can easily specify the typeface. Unlike today's sophisticated magazines, magazines that used a lot of different typefaces were favored, and the number of circulation increased.

It was my first chance to get involved with writing that I started training precision lettering (writing character shop) under Mr. Tatsuji Kato of Namiki Studio (author of Namiki Pop).

What is precision lettering in the first place? Many people may think that. About 40 years ago, there were various typefaces for phototypesetting, but I had no choice but to handwrite thick basic typefaces and design typefaces. Brush ink with ink every day and use a face brush and sashi (grooving).

It was a time when I didn't even have a fax, so for the first three years, I practiced writing in my spare time while I was using it. It was a world in which the characters of the master were simply copied from right to left, and while doing so, the skeleton of the character came to be able to finally write the character.

At the same time, I think it was a good idea that I originally liked machines. When the writing itself declined and I didn't have a word processor yet, I was able to learn what programs and digital data were while playing around with an 8-bit personal computer. I think it was an expensive toy, but since the machine was made by Sony, I was also involved in Sony's dot font production.

How did you come to make outline fonts including "Gospel-EB"?

Left: Dot font Right: Outline font
It is interesting to see that if you fill the squares with black, you will write "1", otherwise you will write "0". Dot fonts such as alphanumeric characters are still in demand occasionally.

After that, outline fonts started to become mainstream, but for a while, I was only interested in dot fonts, which had mechanical restrictions, and I found it interesting. Actually, I was helping other people to make outline fonts before I made them, so I knew how difficult it was to make outline fonts.

However, it started when I had a lot of friends making typefaces around me and I was working hard, and I was inspired to try it. Among them, the "Gospel-EB" that I will introduce this time is a typeface that I began to make because I thought that it would take some form because there were things that were fascinated by slave typefaces for a long time. Although it may have been possible to create a softer atmosphere for stylizing the slave books, the design is strong and fits the word "GOD SPELL". Since a scale-like element also feels annoyed when it is made large, I tried to give it the effect of slightly raising the impression with a comfortable flip-up like a Mincho body.

"Gospel-EB" with italics was used for the telop "Men's gymnastics group" in the Olympic feature on the wide show program the other day. Since it was a display with effects, I felt that it was not a typeface I made, but the handling of speed letters like written letters is used well because of the appealing power. I felt it.

The “Gospel-EB” that has reached the hands of “LETS members” is created by Mr. Kuwahara in the font design, and after confirming the design and characters, the font is created in the flow of FW. Actually, this "Gospel-EB" was a typeface that was almost uncorrectable. Please tell me the secret.

Card type database created by Mr. Kuwahara for font management
By managing the fonts being created, the design will be less likely to blur. When checking the characters, I made them into fonts when the design was completed to some extent, so I could easily check what I typed in the text on the monitor.

While creating a font, it's often tempting to see what you've already created, for example, "This bias should have been created earlier, but what about the element processing?" At that time, if I start searching for the location of the file, I will soon get stuck in the design, but this is not the most troublesome and stressful place for people who make fonts. Or?

In order to solve such a problem, every time a design is created in Illustrator, fonts are converted into data with Fontgrafer, OTEdit, etc. at any time, and information is managed in a card-type database.

For example, if you search for “Nimben”, you can see the design of “Namiben” and “Saku” in a line. We have created an environment where you can check it at any time near the design work so that you can check the consistency of the design such as dot painting, compare the reference typeface and processing you care about, and prevent the creation of duplicate fonts. I will.

However, some of them were designed and modified by Fontworks. The fonts used for "scientific symbols" and "tate-chu-yoko" correspond to this, but for punctuation marks that are not familiar to you, there were some that were designed with the assumption of the scene to be used wrong, so it was helpful It was

What kind of font do you plan to create in the future?

Gospel-Sample with EB
Actually, one of my designers told me that I didn't think Mr. Kuwahara would write such cute characters. Laughter is more like filling in the boxes, rather than writing letters, so I'd like to reduce that feeling in the future.

I think it was because I was writing, but my font production method is like filling the square so that it enters the square. In the future, I want to write letters so that I don't get caught up in them, letters that I've never done before, such as lettering, and I want to create Styles fonts that don't have such a flair.

Actually, this time the gospel had the image of being used for manga, but I'm happy that fonts will be more suitable for use, as in the example I talked about earlier. I am thinking.

I hope that users will continue to use it as they like.

Profile of Takayuki Kuwahara

Digital font designer, engineer
For 9 years from 1977, trained Kato Tatsuji presided over Namiki Studio and trained the Iwanami Mincho writing script store.
After independence, mainly produced dot fonts for Sony's interface. Involved in designing about 10 typefaces including Gospel.

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