A Typeface to Create a “New Standard”
For the main story of Aldnoah.Zero, TP Mincho was used to great effect in onscreen titles and headings. As Arima states, “I decided that a Mincho typeface would be appropriate for a ‘new standard’. TP Mincho possesses a character face that is suited to horizontal layout, and a sharpness that comes through in Latin characters, while also having an abundance of weight variations. I knew that I wanted to use it somewhere from the first time I saw it.”
“Aldnoah.Zero is set in 2014. So, we were looking for a typeface that could express this era, and we came across TP Mincho. And most of all, the way TP Mincho fit with [original character designer] Takako Shimura’s pictures made a really fresh impression, and I had this feeling that a good chemical reaction was going to occur.” (Takuya Sejima)
TP Mincho, which was developed with the aim of becoming a new standard for use in digital media, has an axis for contrast (the proportion of thickness of horizontal and vertical strokes), and is designed to allow the user to select whatever works best with the special characteristics of the media. “TP Mincho’s High Contrast is very sharp and has narrow horizontal strokes. So if this typeface had existed two years ago and we’d tried to use it on TV, probably the network would’ve stopped us. Now, however, it’s become accepted to have high resolution not just on TV, but for webcasts too, and new kinds of expression have become possible. It’s a happy thing when you find a typeface that can really harmonize with the era you want to convey,” says Arima.
For Aldnoah.Zero’s title sequences, Arima and his team rearranged and combined various title and logo elements to create a rich assortment of designs. In addition, they produced a design manual for people involved in diverse kinds of created work, containing detailed definitions of rules for color balance, typography and other characteristics. This manual stipulates the use of TP Mincho and AXIS Font as Mincho and Gothic typefaces. “In the creative aspects of Aldnoah.Zero, we do not treat the logo as a logo. By applying several rules to redistribute those roles that have always been assigned to the logo, I am hoping to design newer forms of communication. The thing that has been vital to ensure design quality and identity within this kind of system is fresh typography. Also, at production sites that involve many people, if the rules are not easily applicable the quality of the creativity deteriorates. TP Mincho and AXIS Font both have clear and beautiful appearances even without being set in a special way, so the choice was an obvious one.” (Tomoyuki Arima)
(Photos by Kou Chifusa)