Ryoichi Tsunekawa


Ryoichi Tsunekawa (born 1978) is the director and type designer of Dharma Type established in 2005 in Japan. He also runs Flat-it type foundry and Prop-a-ganda and Holiday type besides Dharma Type. He studied architecture and engineering at the Nagoya University (Nagoya Japan), one of the biggest industrial city where include TOYOTA Motor Corporation etc… Since his college days, he took an interest in fonts especially the relations between type face design and historical design trend such like De Stijl, Arts and Craft, ArtDeco, Modernism and Bauhaus. After graduating with an MA, He worked in Tokyo as an Architectural engineer (designing structural frame, analysis the bearing force…) for several years. After that, after a lag period of freelance designer to be more exact, he established his own type foundry Dharma Type. Dharma means the virtue and the name of historical Buddhist/Hindu monk, In Japan he is the symbol of the proverb "He that falls today may rise tomorrow". 

Ryoichi Tsunekawa has a special love of vernacular lettering, letters painted or drawn by non-specialist from good old days to contemporary trend. One of his direction as a type designer is to make the great letters designed by unknown known to public. 

And his design style is very wide-ranging from retro and classic to experimental and futuristic, from formal to informal because his another direction is to fill the small niche of design demand. His fonts have been featured in various publications such as Slanted, Page magazine, Computer Arts and so on and used in various media such as movie title, brand logo, and poster. They are distributed by Fontshop, Myfonts and a lot of international font sellers. 


BITS MMXIII Special Workshop
Ryoichi Tsunekawa
November 23, 2013.
2.30 pm. - 5.30 pm.
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.
Available slots : 10 person

"Experimental design of logotype with vernacularity" 

Townscape is composed by signs, The signs are colored not by usual, common, ordinary font but by custom-made lettering or lettering by unknown and non-specialist. Individual form and distinctive style assert themselves and we are fascinated with them indescribably. It may be said that the aggregation of these lettering and something which associated with the aggregation have the vernacularity. And the font or lettering designed based on the aggregation is the vernacular font.

At any rate, Take it easy! In this session, We try to design vernacular logotype for BITS by ourselves without their permission.

And it is not the degree of completion of the logo but an experience through the process of the experimental method that we aim to obtain.

From the letters which are brought by each participant, reveal the important characteristic of their letters, incorporate each other and make the logotype eventually.

This session is probably intended for students and type lovers, not for advanced-level designers.


Bringlist :
An idea or thought about "What particular letter-shape of Thai or Bangkok is or What Thai-style, Bangkok-style letters are" Pen and paper.


BITS MMXIII International Conference
Ryoichi Tsunekawa
November 23, 2013.
Afternoon session
5th fl Auditorium, bacc.

“Anti-universal type design.”

What determine the value of letters and typefaces? Legibility and Readability? Yes, it can be said that there is almost no doubt that they are one of the most important elements, since the essential role of letter is to share the meaning of the letter themselves with other people and complete stranger in some cases. But when you pick out only one from a huge number of fonts for your design work, or when you are asked to list your favorite fonts or fonts which excite you, inspire you or turn you on, The criterion for choosing the font is not only legibility and readability. From the beginning of the twentieth century, The modernism emerged as a new, innovative thought and it became a major trend of the design and ultimately it had been thought as the goal of the design itself. In the spirit of this movement, a lot of architectures, products and graphics including typefaces that were intended to be international-style and universal-design were designed. Needless to say, there are many great design that influence the design today. international-style and universal-design can be described universality(versatility) in simple word. But is it the only one value that to be universality? Is it only one demand that the world request and desire? Since the turn of the century to twenty-first, I feel that the design trend has started to really change for new era. Design is beginning to seek something new value or criterions. In this time, I am going to talk about the design element or trend in other word which I am attracted now. It might be my own answer to the new value mentioned above. It is what we call folk, vernacular or else particular design. I call them 'anti-universal design' in the lump. Then, I am going to explain my own thought about the anti-universal design showing my own font works.