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4–7 September, 2019

Saturday, 7 September | | Miraikan Hall

Talk | Presented in English

A Paradigm Shift: How Y. Nakamura’s Na-ru and Go-na Influenced the Japanese Type Design Industry in the 1970s

A seismic shift occurred in Japanese type design in the 1970s. The legendary designer Yukihiro Nakamura (1942–) is responsible for this change, which can almost be thought of as a paradigm shift. He created a rounded sans serif called Na-ru in 1973 and a sans serif called Go-na in 1975. These designs caused a stir because they effected two significant breakthroughs. First, they were nothing like any existing designs. Second, by creating these epoch-defining new typefaces, the role of type designer was firmly established in Japan for the first time, ushering in a new era for type designers. This presentation will introduce Nakamura’s work and examine the significance of his designs for the type designers who came after him. Even in Japan, the up-and-coming generation of type designers is often unfamiliar with Nakamura’s work and its revolutionary importance. It is time to reassess the contribution he made to type design in Japan and introduce the historical value of his work to the rest of the world.