[Font designer planning] Interview with Tomomi Kanda, "Tsubame" who was particular about Showa retro nostalgia


The typeface name "Tsubame" means that my son loves birds and that the word "Tsubame" sounds nostalgic for the Showa era.
Triangular scales like a flicker and beak are like "swallows".
That's why I decided to "swallow".
Put your thoughts on "Tsubame". Hope this font can be used by many people.

Yumi Kanda

"Tsubame" is a typeface that was launched in May 2016.

One year has passed since the launch of "Tsubame," which has always been at the top of the Monthly Downloads ranking for Fontworks fonts, and we are seeing more and more cute designs featuring TV, books, posters, etc. ..

This time, we invited Yumi Kanda (hereinafter Kanda), a Type Designers "Tsubame", and Shigenobu Fujita (hereinafter Fujita), Akiko Ochi (Ochi), Kanae Yamamura (Yamamura), a fontworks Type Designers In the form of an interview with the typeface, mainly about the episode story about the birth of the typeface of "Tsubame", the story of the trend of the typeface in the world and the story of each Display typeface that exists in the same category It is the content that was realized because it was a dialogue between Type Designers We will deliver.

State during interview

Mr. Kanda looking into Ochi's prototype work
Mr. Kanda commented on the typeface Yamamura is currently producing
Mr. Kanda showing the prototype work to Fujita

I was impressed that the typeface "Asa ga" was "pretty beautiful"

Interview with Mr. Kanda and the Fontworks Type Designers a dialogue format

—— First, can you talk about Mr. Kanda's reason for becoming a Type Designers?

Kanda Although I graduated from a junior college's fashion department and got a job, I had the experience that soon after the Great Hanshin Earthquake, everything was gone.

So your life changed completely. "Get the job you really want to do!"

At that moment, I happened to see "Masasawa" by Yutaka Sato, who won the Gold Prize at the Morisawa International Typeface Contest, and was impressed by how beautiful it was. I was impressed with the typefaces other than Mincho and Gothic, saying, "There is such a beautiful typeface."

So, "I want to get this job" (laughs)!

However, I could not get a job as a font maker immediately, so I decided to become a graphic designer and manage to get into a design company.

Since then, I began to publish my work in the "Typography Yearbook", and in 2000, I was able to join the Typography Society because my first logotype was selected for the Japan Typography Association Yearbook. At that time, Shintaro Amioka launched "FONT1000", so why not make a font? I started making letters.

A wall that stands against free Type Designers "Do not enter the square!"

He talked about problems in free-form typeface production. I don't know how to make typefaces, and no one teaches me.At first, I was always wondering which letter was the most efficient way to make it. It seems that it will be organized and devised simply, and repeated trials and errors will be completed.

——What was your first typeface production?

Kanda I'm doing graphic design at work, and I think it would be interesting if the logotypes I made were made into fonts. You don't have to put the logo in the square, but you have to put the typeface in the square. "Love" and "Naga" can be entered, but when it comes to "Amazing" or characters with a large number of strokes, they don't fit in the square (laughs).

Call Amioka-san, "I won't fit in the square!" I was told, "If we use the largest number of strokes as the standard, and then make it smaller overall, we can manage it."

Fujita When creating a typeface with a font maker, first put the character with the largest number of strokes and the character with the smallest number of strokes in a 9-character Fonts to determine the outline such as how to display for the face with a large number of strokes. I know

Kanda Even now, the faces of letters with many strokes are bigger (laughs).

However, I started to think that it would be better to make it exist as my own originality. Now, I don't have the feeling of pushing it into a square, but I think I should design it as well.

Influenced by the book of gold farming

Goldman (Kim Fuyu) 's original work

——Are there any things that influenced you when you created “Tsubame”?

When I was four years old, I started to learn calligraphy, became an adult, and when I started working as a graphic designer, I fell in love with the book by Kinno (Kinfushin).

The thick horizontal line that I wrote with a brush and the vertical line that extends diagonally to the left and that cuts it roughly are attractive, and I remember that I wrote for about half a year.

Perhaps the influence is too strong, the "swallow" is flowing to the left as a whole.

Background of Tsubame Creation ~ Design concept, etc.

Kanda's rough sketch. It seems that it is used to create ideas for typefaces.

——Tsubame was based on the logotype created by Mr. Kanda, right?

Kanda I agree. Based on the logotype of Yanagihara Eiko Shrine in Kobe that I designed.

Originally, I always wanted to make letters with a Showa retro feel, so why not typeface this logotype?

In the early design, the horizontal lines were thin, the katakana was appropriate, the types of elements were complicated, and there was no sense of unity. I was able to get the opportunity to learn typeface production from Osamu and Masanobu Naruzawa, and I had them watched.

I was able to brush up with the guidance of the rules when converting from logotype to typeface.

Actually, I made all the rules I made with feeling like Harai. "Tsubame" is what I proposed to Fontworks by adjusting that side.

Logotype and initial plan that became the basis of the design

We were asked to make a logotype for Kobe Yanagihara Eiko Shrine, and we are aiming to create a retro Showa-friendly character that matches the atmosphere of Ebe's illustration. I decided to develop it in a typeface.
Initial plan with increased number of characters after creating the logotype on the left

First Adobe-Japan 1-3 all-letter production and brush-up

It was in 2014 that we decided to adopt a typeface. When I looked at the list of the character types required for the specified Character Sets (AJ1-3), I was disappointed. "It takes about two and a half years to make 10 characters every day!"

When I started production, I was working for a company, so I couldn't work during the day, and I spent a year and a half trying to make nights and nights.I quit my job half a year before the 2016 release, and went to the last spurt. ..

After initial plan and brush up

Angry checkback

Checkback table

It was decided to release it in the spring of 2016, and from the end of 2015, the Fontworks Engineering Department started the font and design check.

And angry checkbacks and corrections continued until the release.

Completed version

▲ Tsubame's group sample It is a typeface with an atmosphere that suits fairy tales etc.

"Tsubame" character features, skeletons and elements

▲ Characteristics
I'm not used to adjusting the line width and putting it properly on the square face, so I set the virtual body of the kana to be small like a regular drawing, large kanji with a large number of strokes, small letters with a small number of strokes, free to uneven I made.
▲ Skeleton and elements
Element is a concept < Showa retro character > It has a thin horizontal line and a chubby triangular scale! And prompt decision. Since the horizontal line was quite thin in the initial plan, I assumed that it would be used in a small size and made it slightly thicker to make the scale larger.

The first time I saw "Tsubame"

It was an information program in the morning on TV that I first found it used after it was released.

My son reported to me, "The letters I made are out!"

Gradually, I'm starting to see it in posters, TV, books, and comics, and when I have "Tsubame" in a nice layout, I'm glad that I was able to choose from many fonts.

I feel that it is often used as a target for women, and I feel that it is surprising as the person himself, but since I am a woman, I feel that it is such a thing, but in various situations I want you to use it!

We will continue to watch the swallows fly!


While comparing glyphs with typefaces that are popular in Display, I talked about what kind of atmosphere "Tsubame" fits into.

Profile of Tomomi Kanda

Type Designers / Graphic designer
Born in Kobe in 1974. Aspiring to be a Type Designers while engaged in graphic design. Participated in FONT1000 since 2000, released "TA-Tsubaki" and "TA-Sakura". Morisawa Type Design Competition 2014, "Harmony" Honorable Mention. Released "Tsubame" from 2016 Fontworks. Member of NPO Japan Typography Association. Part-time Lecturer at Nara College of Art Design since 2009, and Part-time Lecturer at Department of Character Design at Kyoto University of Art and Design since 2017.

"Tsubame" was selected for the Japan Typography Yearbook 2017.

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