TDC Annual Awards 2001, Judges' Special Prize : Yuji Koiso
2001 Award Winners

Trial to make new phonogram

There are many issues Japanese people can think about right at home without expanding their perspectives to a global or universal scale. My experimental piece was an effort to identify and locate these issues, and to point the way in our attempts to reach solutions. I surmised that the Japanese script is a formative manifestation of the essence of discomfort felt by many with regard to "Japan" (for example the "Hinomaru [the Japanese national flag] and "Japanese script" have many parallels in terms of the discomfort they represent). My attempt at making this discomfort explicit or visually available was only possible in the realm of typography. make up the flesh and blood of language. Characters that are not based on language are simply forms. Therefore, typography must represent an awareness of the issues that a given language faces. Without this awareness, typography is reduced to child's play with forms. By competing on the basis of trivial skills used to manipulate superficial frills swayed by non-substantial intangibles such as "trends" and "tastes," we not only prevent ourselves from enriching our culture of writing, we actually contribute to its demise.

Yuji Koiso

Born in Tokyo in 1966. Graduated from the Graphic Design Section of the Design Department of the Tama Art University in 1990. Currently works at Nippon Design Center Co., Ltd.