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Ryoichi Tsunekawa

Ryoichi Tsunekawa’s Flat-it foundry is located in Nagoya, Japan. Ryoichi debuted his first MyFonts font family in June and now has 15 families on the website. Machia, a connecting script font with elegant swashes, had been atop our Starlets page for quite a while after its initial release, but now [October 2006] the complementary Machiarge tops the chart. Machiarge is a casual heavier brushdrawn script, meant to be Machia’s kid brother.

Besides scripty fonts, Ryoichi has also created Boycott, a noisy poster font that’s a little rough around the edges. Another new design, Tokyotrail, is inspired by the capital of Japan, one of the world’s largest cities with over 2,000 square kilometers to explore. The font is designed with straight lines running vertically, horizontally, and diagonally.

We interviewed Ryoichi about his background as well as his take on all things type.

Ryoichi, please tell us a little about your background and experience.
I was born in 1978 in Nagoya, Japan. Since my childhood, I have always had an interest in paintings, art and design, especially abstract forms such as geometric repeating patterns. At university, I majored in Architecture. After graduating with an MA, I worked in Tokyo as an architect and engineer.

How did you get started in typeface design?
When doing presentations on architectural designs at university, I always used to worry about what font to use in order to make the presentation more appealing. I did not like using the same font as other people, so I remember every day I used to stare at catalogues from foundries all over the world. Sometimes I would design my own fonts in the end. Thinking about it now, that is when I started to create my own typefaces.

You’ve released quite a variety of typeface designs, from scripty to grunge to futuristic. How do you decide on the kind of typeface design you want to develop?
Being a Japanese person in Japan, I don’t have many opportunities to come into contact with western alphabet characters. There are not that many different types of typefaces in magazines either. Since there are only few inspirational typefaces I come across in Japan, I am compelled to investigate further and research to try to create variations of typefaces. I have so far only released 20 or so typefaces, so I would not specify my style as yet. Typefaces I create depend on how I feel at that particular moment.

Can you tell us the process you go through in designing a font?
When I design a font, I spend some time making a whole series of rough sketches using pen and paper. During this drawing process, a vague idea of the font that I want to create gradually emerges. Then I draw a few glyphs of the font, say ‘R’, ‘d’ and ‘s’. After transferring the sketches to my computer, I begin the long process of re-working them up again and again. It usually takes me over three or four weeks of concentrated time to produce a finished font.

What typeface designs are you working on now? When can we expect to see them at MyFonts?
At the moment I am working on typefaces that are inspired from or evocative of historical typefaces from around the world. There would be a series of about 12 typeface families. I would start releasing them around the end of this year as “xxx modern” series.

What’s your favorite typeface, and why?
I don’t really have a favorite typeface in particular. I am attracted to original typefaces on flyers and hand-painted letters on billboards (for shops and restaurants). Both of them may not be high-quality in execution, but the passion and the thoughts of the creator/writer are manifest.

What font do you never, ever want to see used again?
That would be Helvetica. Of course, Helvetica is a great font, but it became too popular and disseminated too much. To use Helvetica is to be the same as someone else. Also font designers, including myself, need to think about creating a font that will surpass the success of Helvetica, just like some architects outshine Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe.

Do you work full-time as a font designer?
In addition to being a font designer, I am currently working as a graphic designer and architect.

Thanks, Ryoichi! We look forward to seeing your new typeface designs soon!

This article and interview first appeared Rising Stars October 2006, one of the MyFonts newsletters.

In-depth interview

MyFonts Creative Characters: Ryoichi Tsunekawa (December 2010)

Personal details

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138 font families by Ryoichi Tsunekawa

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Kiro™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

12 fonts from $25.00
Kiro™ Kiro™

Dharma Gothic™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

42 fonts from $20.00
Dharma Gothic™ Dharma Gothic™

Pero™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

7 fonts from $25.00
Pero™ Pero™

Rama Gothic™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

18 fonts from $20.00
Rama Gothic™ Rama Gothic™

Compasse™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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12 fonts from $25.00
Compasse™ Compasse™

Graphie™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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16 fonts from $27.00
Graphie™ Graphie™

Geom Graphic™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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8 fonts from $20.00
Geom Graphic™ Geom Graphic™

Clonoid™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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12 fonts from $22.00
Clonoid™ Clonoid™

Controller

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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20 fonts from $20.00
Controller Controller

Sneaker Script™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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1 font from $35.00
Sneaker Script™ Sneaker Script™

Dharma Slab™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

42 fonts from $20.00
Dharma Slab™ Dharma Slab™

Lily Wang™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $18.50
Lily Wang™ Lily Wang™

Revolution Gothic™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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10 fonts from $20.00
Revolution Gothic™ Revolution Gothic™

Yummo™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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5 fonts from $25.00
Yummo™ Yummo™

Wearetrippin

by T-26
  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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5 fonts from $19.00
Wearetrippin Wearetrippin

All Round Gothic

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

10 fonts from $28.00
All Round Gothic All Round Gothic

Como™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

8 fonts from $25.00
Como™ Como™

PAG Revolucion

  |  available for Desktop and Web

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1 font from $20.00
PAG Revolucion PAG Revolucion

Mocha Mattari™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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1 font from $20.00
Mocha Mattari™ Mocha Mattari™

Dharma Gothic P

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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4 fonts from $20.00
Dharma Gothic P Dharma Gothic P

Rouge™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

2 fonts from $14.95
Rouge™ Rouge™

Design System™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

70 fonts from $20.00
Design System™ Design System™

Camera™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

3 fonts from $19.00
Camera™ Camera™

PAG Bankas

  |  available for Desktop and Web

Albums

1 font from $20.00
PAG Bankas PAG Bankas

Nothing™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $19.95
Nothing™ Nothing™

Daisy Lau

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $18.50
Daisy  Lau Daisy  Lau

Shiva™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

2 fonts from $20.00
Shiva™ Shiva™

Machiarge

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $19.95
Machiarge Machiarge

HT Gelateria™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $20.00
HT Gelateria™ HT Gelateria™

HT Neon™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $20.00
HT Neon™ HT Neon™

Stereo Gothic™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

36 fonts from $12.50
Stereo Gothic™ Stereo Gothic™

HT Tabaccaio™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $20.00
HT Tabaccaio™ HT Tabaccaio™

Sheepman

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

6 fonts from $20.00
Sheepman Sheepman

HT Maison™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $20.00
HT Maison™ HT Maison™

HT Cafe™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

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1 font from $20.00
HT Cafe™ HT Cafe™

Spoon™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

14 fonts from $28.00
Spoon™ Spoon™

Rama Slab™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

18 fonts from $20.00
Rama Slab™ Rama Slab™

Concrete Stencil

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

2 fonts from $35.00
Concrete Stencil Concrete Stencil

Tokyotrail™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

4 fonts from $9.95
Tokyotrail™ Tokyotrail™

Space Colony™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

6 fonts from $20.00
Space Colony™ Space Colony™

Banana™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $19.95
Banana™ Banana™

HT Farmacia™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $20.00
HT Farmacia™ HT Farmacia™

Elpiedra™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $14.95
Elpiedra™ Elpiedra™

Killernuts™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

2 fonts from $15.00
Killernuts™ Killernuts™

Celtics Modern™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

3 fonts from $15.00
Celtics Modern™ Celtics Modern™

Boycott™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $14.95
Boycott™ Boycott™

Griffon™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

5 fonts from $25.00
Griffon™ Griffon™

Antoinette Monogrammes™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

1 font from $25.00
Antoinette Monogrammes™ Antoinette Monogrammes™

Antique Spenserian™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

2 fonts from $25.00
Antique Spenserian™ Antique Spenserian™

Yasashii™

  |  available for Desktop, Web, App, Epub and Server

Albums

4 fonts from $14.95
Yasashii™ Yasashii™

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