Designing Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana 01: “Structure”

Features of Japanese notations using three character types, titled “Typesetting Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana” are described previously in this blog.

Focusing on the perspective of design work from this time, I would like to introduce features of the three character type shape, and devise multiple character types into a set of fonts in a series of six in total. The first theme of the series is “structure.” There are elements in the structure of kanji, such as “horizontal stroke,” “vertical stroke,” “dot,” etc., which are also distinguished by differences in movement: “stop,” “hook,” and “sweep.” As katakana developed by taking a part of kanji, the constituent elements are close to kanji. Hiragana has elements common to kanji and katakana, but there are increased numbers of curved elements, such as “closing,” “rings,” etc., due to the process of being made up of cursively written kanji.

As described, there are different tendencies depending on character type, and the constituent elements of structure differ depending on the character. As the size, layout, etc. of element have an influence on character individuality, the entire font is completed into a structure with a sense of unity.


Series archive Japanese Type Design / Designing Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana