Typojanchi 2013
Seoul International Typography Biennale

August 30–October 11
10:00 am– 7:00 pm
Closed every Monday
Free admission

Culture Station Seoul 284
1 Tongil-ro, Jung-gu
Seoul 100-162, Korea
T. 82-2-3407-3500
F. 82-2-3407-3510


Hosted by
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism

Organized by
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
Korean Society of Typography


Typojanchi 2013
Administration Office
Korea Craft & Design Foundation
5F, 53 Yulgok-no, Jongno-gu
Seoul 110-240, Korea
T. 82-2-398-7945
F. 82-2-398-7999
E. typojanchi@kcdf.kr

Typojanchi 2011

Horizontal Kana
Letterform concept

Shinsekai Type Study Group
Founded in 2011, Tokyo:
Okazawa Yoshihide, b. 1970, Japan
Hidechika, b. 1968, Japan
Tsukada Tetsuya, b. 1971, Japan


Shinsekai Type Study Group was founded in 2011 by Tsukada Tetsuya and Hidechika, together known as the Dainippon Type Organization, and the type designer Okazawa Yoshihide. The goal is to survey the kind of typography that is “living today,” and to discover, examine and develop its unpredictable possibilities from graphic, historical and professional perspectives—hence the name, Shinsekai, meaning “new world.”

Okazawa Yoshihide joined the type design studio Jiyu Kobo in 1994, and worked on various projects including Hiragino Family, Yuchiku Midashi Mincho and Hiragino UD Family. Having set up his own type foundry Yokokaku in 2009, he has released Kodomonoji (kid’s type), Doronoji (road type) and Dottonoji (dot type). Hidechika and Tsukada Tetsuya set up the experimental typography group Dainippon Type Organization in 1993, and have been pursuing new ideas of typographic characters by playfully deconstructing, recombining and restructuring letterform.

Shinsekai Type Study Group’s speculative project, Horizontal Kana, amounts to an “alternative history” of type design—or a sci-fi imagination of the future of the Japanese letterform.

Japanese scripts were initially meant to be written vertically. Today, However, they mostly appear horizontally—from left to right—in order to represent on the computer screen as well as to combine with international languages such as English. Kana characters of Japanese scripts, in particular, were invented from simplified kanji (Chinese characters), which also used to be written vertically. Therefore, the strokes of each character show vertical movement. Kana characters containing such inevitable strokes are set horizontally from left to right—who could have imagined that when kana characters were born?

Here, we would like to pose a question: if kana characters are mutating into a new set of horizontal-written characters, what would they look like? We would like to discover new figures of kana especially for horizontal writing, reviewing the origin and history of kana from the perspective of its contemporary use.

[Shinsekai Type Study Group]

For further information, click here.

Horizontal Kana A

Letterforms potentially evolved from left-to-right horizontal writing. Courtesy: the artist

Horizontal Kana B

Letterforms potentially evolved from left-to-right horizontal writing, showing cursive and joined forms. Courtesy: the artist

Horizontal Kana C

Letterforms potentially evolved from right-to-left writing. Courtesy: the artist

© Typojanchi 2013