[I'd like to preface this article by stating that it was written and contributed by our esteemed colleague, Taro Yamamoto (山本太郎), who manages our Japanese typeface design efforts in our Tokyo office. — KL]
We were very pleased to hear the news that Morisawa announced the Morisawa Type Design Competition 2012 to be held this year. This triennial competition was held from 1984 to 2002, and this announcement means that they have reintroduced it. The type design categories for entries are Kanji and Latin.
This year’s competition introduces an all-new prize category entitled Akashi Awards (明石賞), which is in addition to the usual Morisawa Awards. Practical, useful, and easy-to-commercialize typeface designs are selected as Akashi Awards winners.
In the past, two of our typeface designers won awards in this competition. In 1984, four years before joining Adobe, Carol Twombly won the Gold Prize (First Place) for her Latin typeface design that was subsequently marketed as Mirarae. In 1999, Ryoko Nishizuka (西塚涼子) received Honorable Mention for her typeface named Branch Letter. Then, in 2002, she won Silver Prize (Second Place) for her calligraphic typeface named Teika (定家), which inspired her work on what later became the typeface named Kazuraki (かづらき), heralded as the first fully-proportional OpenType Japanese font. Our own Robert Slimbach has also served as one of the judges for the Latin category.
I hope that you share the same enthusiasm about this competition as me.
If you are a type designer, I strongly encourage you to consider submitting a type design for this prestigious competition.