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You are here: Home / Conferences / Hong Kong 2012 / Programme / 11–14 October – General programme

Rounded Sans in Japan

When Sat 13 Oct 0900
Where Hotel Icon
Who Akira Kobayashi

In Western countries sans serif letters are almost the “default” choice for public signs.Very few Latin rounded sans serif types were available until very recently, and in spite of some successful typefaces such as VAG Rounded, they have been rarely used for public transport signs.

In contrast to the West, in Japan, rounded sans serif letters were the default choice for public signs when I was a schoolboy.

Hand-painted signs and messages like “Keep Off” or “Danger” were usually drawn in a rounded sans serif style. I remember enjoying reading them around me in my everyday life.

In my presentation I will discuss why rounded sans were so popular in Japan in the past and why they are being replaced with square sans today.

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