[Adventure over fonts 6th] I want to leave the signboard character "fluctuation"-approaching the activities of the "Noramoji Discovery Project"

Interview

こんにちは、営業部・安藤です。

まずは、11/16(土)~17(日)の2日間に渡って渋谷キャストで開催された「もじFes.」にご来場頂いた皆様方、ありがとうございました!

「もじを楽しむナイスな2日間」をテーマにしたお祭りでしたが、事前の想定を遥かに上回る来場者数に驚くと共に、お客様に対して文字との新しい向き合い方、新しい体験を提供できたことは本当に良かったと感じています。

その「もじFes.」会場で、異彩を放っていた「のらもじ発見プロジェクト」。

Old townscapes are full of unsophisticated but distinctive and distinctive characters. This project is an activity to name such wonderful characters "Noramoji" and to discover them → analyze → fontize them.

"Noramoji Discovery Project" Official Site Than

Their talk sessions and workshops were the most popular with visitors throughout the Event. In the 6th "Adventure over Fonts", we interviewed Rintaro Shimohama, Masateru Nishimura, and Shinya Wakaoka who run such a "Noramoji Discovery Project".

This time, we used an online video chat tool and connected a total of 5 locations (!) To the interview. Immediately after finishing our interview NHK coverage Please enjoy the stories of those who are involved in unique activities related to characters, such as "!"

Rintaro Shimohama
Born in Tokyo in 1983. Graduated from Kanazawa College of Art, Department of Visual Design. graphic designer. He is involved in a wide range of designs such as posters, newspaper Advertisement, Packaging, websites, smartphone applications, and exhibition spaces. Proactively carry out original projects such as planning and management of the record label "INDUS TRIAL JP", exhibition at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT and exhibition at local art festival.

Naoki Nishimura
Born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1984. Raised in Nagoya. After graduating from high school, he entered the Yoshimoto Kogyo talent training center NSC Osaka School, but after some twists and turns, he entered the Tama Art University Graphic Design Department in 2007. In 2011, joined tha ltd., A design studio led by Yugo Nakamura. In charge of web and Video design and programming. Currently studying design in Kyoto.


Shinya Wakaoka
Born in Ishikawa Prefecture in 1982. Graduated from Kanazawa College of Art, Department of Visual Design. Advertisement Became independent after working as an agency and design office. I moved to Yamanashi because I wanted to do design work while working in the fields. Tonboro Design Co., Ltd. established. Since I was a student, my hobby is taking pictures of old signboards and collecting and viewing them.

Valuing the sense of "isn't it over-prepared?"

――Thank you very much for your support at "Moji Fes." The other day. I'm excited to hear more about the Noramoji Discovery Project today! So first of all, please tell us about how the project started.

Wakaoka: I've always liked signboards and I've been taking lots of pictures of them, but I want to show off to someone "Kanban Man" That blog started in 2010. Shimohama, who was in the same major at the same university, saw the blog.

Shimohama: I thought it was interesting to pay attention to the signboards that have changed over the years and have come out to taste, as if you were loving old tools. Around 2012, when I felt like I could spread even more because I love signboards, I called out to Wakaoka and Nishimura to start moving. I mainly thought about working on the Internet.

--How did Nishimura get involved in this project?

Nishimura: I graduated from the graphic design department of art university in 2011, and in my university graduation work, I created a web service that generates a typeface from a user's face picture. I don't really feel the warmth of letters like Wakaoka and Shimohama, and I used the font as digital data (laughs). Through such experience, I got to know Shimohama on SNS and decided to participate in this activity.

"Noramoji Discovery Project" has become one book! "Signboards that are quietly nestled around towns (towns and towns). The letters drawn on the signs have a charm that is not in a nicely arranged font. For a long time, it has been exposed to wind and rain We decided to call these characters, which have a familiar appearance, changed appearance, attractive design, mysterious loveliness and humanity, "Noramoji" "(pp.4-" Noramojiji ") What? ”). Current, Now on sale online .

――What was the reason why Mr. Wakaoka fell in love with the signboard in the first place?

Wakaoka: It's a signboard that I found near my travel destination Yoro no Taki (Yoro-gun, Gifu Prefecture). I happened to meet on the way to the art facility called "Yoro Tenmei Reversal Place".

It is a signboard with an illustration of a woman riding a lift, and when I first saw it, it was "Dasai signboard". It was just like taking a picture of it and showing it to a friend and laughing. But when I went home and looked at it, I was drawn to its unique taste.

Mr. Wakaoka accidentally found a sign near Yoro-no-taki, which led him to fall in love with the sign.

--Sorry, this was going up diagonally as you imagined (laughs).

Wakaoka: The strange margins and the shape of the letters are really amazing. It's a memorable one that "Let's grow this feeling from here".

――The “Noramoji Discovery Project” is also based on that feeling. Did you have any discoveries or feelings as you proceeded with this project?

Wakaoka: As I traveled around Japan and took photos, I realized that there were signboards with similar characters no matter where I went. It seems that there are regional differences. I wonder if there were any textbooks that signboard craftsmen would buy. I think.

Shimohama: I didn't know the hypothesis (laughs).

Wakaoka: When you look for old lettering books in a used bookstore, you can see some characters that you have seen on the signs. Inspired by such books, there is a possibility that signboard craftsmen at the time were drawing similar designs here and there.

Nishimura: I don't think the internet was popular at that time, and I think that trends and values were spreading due to the connections between industries, so it may be because there are many similar signs in the same industry. ..

Shimohama: There is a difference in industry from the regional difference.

――Unexpectedly, it became a deep consideration (laugh). By the way, please tell us about your commitment in advancing this project.

Wakaoka: Most of the letters on the signboards that we choose are made by freehand, and there is still something like "fluctuation", so when we make the font, we do it in a form that makes use of "fluctuation". ..

Shimohama: In the process of making letters, I approach a typeface that is gradually organized and fairly well designed. Isn't it too well arranged? I cherish that feeling. While assembling the Weight and angle systematically, I do "return" work where I feel that it is better to loosen a little.

Mr. Yokoyama and Mr. Shimohama, deputy store managers of "Fujiya Toy Store". We value the “fluctuation” that the signboards have, and create the Japanese syllabary by making the most of the characteristics we grasp from just a few letters.

――It may be very difficult to adjust the spoon, but I understand that the feeling is valued.

Nishimura: After that, is it sure to return the profits from this project to the stores (*)? When you give it by saying, "It won't add to the sales of the store, but please use it enough to maintain the signboard," people often say, "I can't accept this kind of money." ..

(*) The fonts created through the project are Official site It can be Downloads from, and will be returned to the owner (provider of Noramoji) by paying for the Downloads.

――Is there an example where the shop sign was actually restored based on the profits from the “Noramoji Discovery Project”?

Nishimura: Yes, we have it. However, although the changes over time were deep, the texture had disappeared because of the restoration (laughs).

A state of the talk session & workshop of "Noramoji Discovery Project" at "Moji Fes." The venue was filled with customers and was filled with enthusiasm. The appearance of the customer facing the lettering at the workshop is serious! (Photo: Kohichi Ogasahara)

Aiming to become a comic artist and comedian, beyond that

――I would like to return the hands of the clock a little and listen to everyone's history and the relationship of the letters. First, I would like to ask Mr. Wakaoka.

Wakaoka: I've always liked letters since I was a kid, and I remember when I was a nursery school child, I always added the letters "middle" to the pictures I wrote at that time (laughs). When making knapsacks during home economics at elementary school, my friends tended to choose anime characters, and the letters seemed to look cooler, and I also chose fabrics with the alphabet written on them.

-It's a wonderful episode that does not disappoint you (laugh). Did you like letters so much and could you imagine a future where you would be involved in typography?

Wakaoka: Originally, I wanted to be a manga artist. Since my parents' house was a barber, I always had the latest issues of “Jump”, “Magazine”, and “Sunday”, but by the time I entered junior high school, I was already tired of reading Shonen manga and started reading “Big Comic”. The typeface of "Big Comic" is subtly different from the weekly manga, and I felt a little mature.

From there, I gradually moved to a maniac direction such as “Garo”, and my personal desire to make manga a lofty one rather than mass entertainment (laughs) emerged. But manga artists can't do it for themselves. That is the turning point in life.

――Do you still like letters even after becoming a designer?

Wakaoka: I still like letters. I also like the history of characters, and when I carefully investigate where the origin of the character shape we are thinking is beautiful, I end up in Wang Xizhi, 303-361. I felt deeply that the flow of how his books became so great contains hints for human life. By the way, my current business card was created by Mr. Fujita. "Tsukushi Q Mincho" Is unified (laughs).

Mr. Wakaoka says that he likes the taste of the Chikushi typeface series created by our Type Designers Shigenobu Fujita. The other day, when I first touched "Kunkai," which was the first modern Japanese language dictionary compiled in the Meiji era, I felt that the letters used were close to the typeface produced by Fujita ( (Photo: Kohichi Ogasahara)

-- Thank you! How has Shimohama been involved with characters so far?

Shimohama: The original experience that I became most conscious of when I was writing was when I took notes on a blackboard when I was in elementary school. I think that everyone will do the difference in the size of the letters between the important part and the non-important part on the blackboard, but in the case of myself, change the Weight further, make it a bag character, make it thick Paint the inside.

In addition, for example, in the scene of the opening of the country from the arrival of Perry in Japanese history, I want to add Western elements to the letters (laughs). I used to take notes with a variety of elaborate letters, but if you think about it now, it might be typography.

--Interesting! The other day Interview with Toyo Keizai Inc. When I asked Mr. Hashizume, who is in charge of the binding, I was often upset by the teacher because I was too particular about the composition of the notebook during the class, but it was said that there is a job of the current binding house on such an extension line. I have goosebumps.

Shimohama: In my case, I was glad that the teacher praised me (laughs). "I don't know what it is, but the notes are good," he said. When I thought about it, I should have used a marker or the like without devising just the letters, but because I didn't use the marker, I took notes only with a pencil. As a result, they may have decided to stick to the form of letters without relying on the power of "color."

――Mr. Shimohama joined a major Advertisement agency (currently independent), but have you been aspiring to become an Advertisement agency since you were a student?

Shimohama: Actually, I also wanted to be a manga artist when I was in elementary school (laughs). So, I started a manga magazine in a class when I was an elementary school student, but the design of the title of the manga magazine title and the design of the title of the work became more fun than drawing a manga. I enjoyed the design of the magazine itself, so I invited other friends in my class to force me to draw a manga (laughs).

Even though I wanted to draw my own manga, my interest in making a magazine was sliding. I feel that this is where the origin of what I am currently working as a planner or art director is, and that is the role I play in the Noramoji Discovery Project.

-- So that's it. How is Mr. Nishimura?

Nishimura: I don't have many sexy episodes like the two (laughs). When I recall now, I used the word processing function of my word school when I was a student to make a picture with dots, and recreated the NES characters and characters I was addicted to at the time and grinned. When I entered high school, I started to touch a computer and used fonts as one of the functions of design tools.

-After graduating from high school, you will enter the talent training center (NSC) of Yoshimoto Kogyo, right?

Nishimura: That's right. At that time, I strongly thought, "I will be downtown!" I was watching "Gottsue feeling" so much that the VHS tape was worn out.

After graduating from high school, I entered the long-awaited NSC, and although I made a few matches, I thought that it was not as fun as I thought. In the end, I was a duo three times, but all broke up and I graduated from NSC safely (laughs).

By the way, I was working at an electronics store because I didn't have a combination at the end of NSC and I was free. I had a good track record of selling games and selling TV for a year, and I was satisfied with it, but at the busy end of the year, "Ah? This work is handed to others by customers. I just thought. " I told my boss that I would quit on that day and quit.

--It's fast (laughs). After that, you entered a major turning point in your life at the entrance to art school.

Nishimura: As a hobby, I often browsed the Internet and made homepages myself, so next time I wanted to do such a thing in earnest. I broke my first dream of becoming an entertainer, so I enrolled in art school as if I were going to the second one.

――Three people, three people, really interesting! Next time, I would love to hear about your future story. How would you like to develop the Noramoji Discovery Project in the future?

Shimohama: Now I am focusing on workshops. This activity started by finding the characters on the signboard that Wakaoka was interested in, taking a picture and watching them, but after that, people who liked the activity also discovered and found Noramoji. I grew up in the form of sharing “Noramoji” on SNS.

At the next stage, everyone walked around the city and shared the sense of reality that the signs and letters were "in front of you now!", And through the experience of lettering letters with your own hands, the letters came closer to you. I want you to experience the feeling of coming. It's an experience of seeing characters through a browser and turning to the creator. You can physically feel that letters are made in this way. I would like to continue such workshops for a long time to come.

Nishimura: Recently, the “#Noramoji” hash tag has become popular on SNS. I haven't done anything like this, but more people find photos and signs that interest me in the city and post them with a hashtag on Instagram. I feel that it is good that people who are not designers are also interested in letters and that the flow is accelerating on SNS. I think it's good for these movements to spread naturally even if we don't exhibit or exhibit.

――What do you think of Wakaoka?

Wakaoka: From now on, I just take pictures of my favorite signs and watch them. It's a hobby that I don't want someone to understand that much.

All: (Lol)

Workshop scene at "NEW TOWN 2019" held in October 2019.

The sensibilities of the three parties are strongly connected

――Aside from being understood by others (laughs), from the end, I think that you are pursuing your favorite things and living a wonderful life. It seems that there are no boundaries between hobbies and work, but what do you think about it as Mr. Wakaoka himself?

Wakaoka: I want to connect my hobbies to work, but I don't think work is a hobby.

――Can you make that feeling Language?

Wakaoka: I feel that there is a difference between the feeling of designing at work and the liking of old tools and vessels that are my hobbies. Graphic design often uses symbolic things, but old tools and vessels are attractive to the materials themselves, and there are places where they reject the symbolic beauty. I'm trying to fill it in my work, but it's hard to think of ...

――As a graphic designer, you feel a little confused, but you are working hard every day. What is the source of your inspiration?

Wakaoka: Besides the signboard, I've always liked walking, and recently I've been into "Dragon Quest Walk". It's good to have a mechanism that something happens when you walk. Basically, I don't think about anything while walking, and I value the awareness that there was such a place in such a place.

There is an interesting episode with an Italian painter called Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). A woman from his patron went on a trip to Tahiti and said to Morandi, "I saw the most beautiful sunset in my life," he said, "I know a more beautiful sunset." I heard he returned. "Where is the sunset?" She was crazy about trying to come up with the answer, "It's the sunset you can see from the hill behind my house." I always think that I want to go to such a state.

――What a sensation you'd expect from Mr. Wakaoka (laughs). How about Mr. Nishimura?

Nishimura: I got married this year, and recently I've been visiting wagashi shops and cafes my wife wants to visit. I think there is a local pattern in Kyoto, but there are many stores that have modernized Japanese houses, and it's really fun just to visit the platters and cafes. I feel like I'm looking at a world that I haven't seen before.

When I lived in Tokyo, I thought that newness was a universal value, but the people around Kyoto are not so interested in new things. I was shocked at this. There are people who value the provision of the same thing for a longer time, some who value the tradition rather than making money, the world opposite to the one I have seen. And I'm shocked by culture every day (laughs).

――It's an interesting point of view that "newness is not universal value", and it's the scenery that you can see only because you live in Kyoto. Lastly, I would like to ask Mr. Shimohama the source of inspiration.

Shimohama: Recently, my hobby is making music by typing. I'm making a short looping track that takes 30 seconds to 1 minute.

――Is “loop” an image of club music?

Shimohama: That's right. Club music is structured so that by repeating the same rhythm all the time, my feelings gradually become more in a trance and I can dance comfortably, but I'm a songwriting beginner, so I feel like I'm making it partly.

Personally, I'm really interested in the fact that the songs that were popular in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s were changed into songs that can be danced now. I think that the glittering image of the Japanese city at the height of the bubble was reflected in the music, but now that glitter is an illusion, there is a flow to dare to reconstruct it.

I think that fusion-type songs that were endlessly loop-played at commercial facilities such as shopping malls at the time were typical of sparkling consumption. From a technological point of view, many synthesizers were beginning to be used, and some musicians are making songs with a focus on the fact that the 80's feel will come out just by using the synthesizers of that time. It's something that has been noticed recently that the timbre also has a certain age.

――The movement that foreigners remixed Japanese city pop at the time and it was imported back to Japan is also happening right now.

Shimohama: It's a new feeling because it's not flowing right now. It's a work of a time I don't even know, but I miss it. But new. It's an interesting feeling. Originally, remixes and quotations were the norm in club culture, and even if it's not a song that I made, I'd connect it to liven up the floor.

The “Noramoji Discovery Project” also has a “remix” aspect from a certain angle. The act of sampling the letters (source) written by a signboard craftsman and reconstructing them into digital fonts that fit the modern age is truly "remix".

I, who is interested in the method of discovering and rebuilding old-fashioned things, Wakaoka who Heading an antique appeal for signboard characters, Nishimura who shares a remix with a solid literacy of the net It may be that the three people's sensibilities are accidentally linked together and that there is a “Noramoji Discovery Project”.

――I heard from you today that it is clear that the "Noramoji Discovery Project" is advancing brilliantly because the sensibilities of the people who are unlikely to interact with each other exquisitely interact with each other. Thank you for your valuable story today!

After Recording After the interview ...

"From the old days, when I traveled, I used to shoot only signs, not landscapes."

Originally, Wakaoka's personal hobby was watching signboards. We are not interested in the fact that this is causing the swells up to this point by flapping under the direction of Mr. Shimohama and Mr. Nishimura's digital sensation (which is a hobby to watch signboards like Mr. Wakaoka). I couldn't get in.

Talk sessions and workshops were also very successful at the "Moji Fes." Venue. Seeing that many young women and children were also participating, I strongly felt that the content was time-sensitive and would love to hear from you! "I had a direct interview with Shimohama-san at the venue, and this interviewed me. Through the interview, I found that the true meaning of the words is that the fusion of sensibilities of the three parties, which I cultivated as a student, firmly supports this project.

In addition, "Let's find out what it is like to go out" Mr. Naohiro Ukawa (Video artist, graphic designer) wrote the following post in the post.

The point that I thought was decisively new is that I was consciously inheriting the concept of the "Mingei movement" that Soetsu Yanagi proposed in the Taisho era. The folk art movement is a lifestyle and culture movement that names the aesthetic sense and craftsmanship that has been cultivated by unnamed craftsmen in everyday life as "folk art" rather than "art," and enjoys "anonymous" handicrafts. That's right.

We evaluate creatives created by anonymity as pure acts. I think that it is wonderful to construct the concept of translating the aspect of "Noramoji", which uses the history and tradition of "handiwork" as data, into the folk art movement for centuries.

(From pp.154 commentary “Wild folk art that already lived there”)

I sincerely hope that the "folklore movement in typography" that started in a similar fashion will continue and develop in the future.

By the way, after the interviews with the three people, the way the signboards look has changed. I was attracted by Mr. Wakaoka's words, "I'm interested in things that are distorted, lacking, or distorted," and I find myself conspicuous only in the signs that create a unique atmosphere. Once again, signboards are interesting!

Interview Date: December 3, 2019

Photo = Noramoji Discovery Project, Takafumi Ando

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