Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Japanese Food Typography

There isn't many days that go by that whilst I'm on the internet I won't check out one of my favourite site, My brother sent me a link to this a good while back and I love going on it to find out what new posts have been added. To put it simply it is a design and art blog. Everyday roughly ten or so new pictures are posted and once clicked on they take you to that particular site so you can have a better look at the building, painting, typography or whatever. This site is literally crammed full of fantastic ideas and precedents that I'm sure everyone could find useful. I have found myself looking at things and thinking to myself that I'd like to give that ago. Everything is covered, it is just a case of searching through the vast amount of pages until you find something that will catch your eye and trust me that doesn't take long. Warning, however, time can slip away very quick when on this site ha ha!

At the top of the sites page there is a little Polaroid with the word random on it. Give it a click and a random post is present to you. You can look at it, scroll let or right for something else that takes your fancy or hit random again. Things you come across can sometimes take your breath away or leave you green with envy! I would like to think I have a good eye for what I myself would consider good design and I feel that the majority of posts on this sites are of things that are good quality. It can sometimes be hard to stay on top what the rest of the world is up to not only in your own discipline but in the rest of the creative scene. takes a selection of works from right across the globe which is fantastic. One of the great things I get out of the site is that it keeps me in the loop of some exciting builds that are taken place or have been completed. I previously studied architecture at DoJ for a good number of years and since started jewellery I've lost contact with a world I once held very dear to me. I urge you to take a look, I can pretty much guarantee you won't be disappointed!

On one of my many daily stops at the sites I came across a post about Japanese typography that had been designed with food symbols in them. I then remembered a lecture from JB right at the start of the year and he had mention a similar story about Chinese typography incorporating pictures into the words. As my memory recalls JB had been learning Chinese and he felt that people may get mistaken by these designs as, forgive me if I have this all wrong JB, but in Chinese there is one word for animal that you use every time you say the animals name. So if people saw the symbol for a monkey with a picture of a monkey then they might think that extra word/symbol used would refer only to the monkey. But in fact you would use that word/symbol if you wrote dog, for example.

I really like the Japanese typography that I came across. They are different and a bit of fun. I'm always interested in people taking existing objects, etc and putting a new spin on them. Looking at these, on the surface I don't know if they could be seen as confusing but then are the food symbols used to replace strokes or is it a simple case of symbol and image like you would find in a baby book? I have been wanting to learn Japanese for a while now and think I might start by looking at these and seeing if there might be similar problem to them as there was with the Chinese Manadgrams, as they were called. At the bottom of the Japanese typography they make reference to the Chinese version which turned out to be a nice surprise. I've added a couple of links if you are interested. Let me now what you think, would be interesting to hear another opinion.

1 comment:

  1. Most animal names in Chinese consist of a compound character (i.e two characters stuck together). In "Monkey" the standard character is the three strokes on the left hand side which denotes "animal". So my point was that if you're learning Chinese then it's important to recognise the left hand character and know that it's an animal. Just looking for the "shape" of a monkey won't do it!

    It's very complicated... :)

    Great post, this, Grant.