Paper and Ink: Cat-pig-Man-Woman

— Kaoru Kasai

TDC Members' Prize


Paper and Ink: Cat-pig-Man-Woman(Experimental work)
When I design letterforms, I first think of what the words mean. I work on my ideas, build a skeleton, flesh it out and then make corrections based on what I see in the empty space. Eventually, I completely forget about the original meaning of the word and start looking at the shape in terms of its balance.
As I gradually refine the shape, I reach a point where it starts to look boring and this is when I start deconstructing it. For example, I can move one bone and this might give a totally different impression. My emotion during this back-and-forth process of creating text is very similar to the emotion I experience when I draw figures. However, the sequence of the experience is reversed. When I connect and overlap meaningless lines and surfaces — like in a formative game of association — I can come up with things that I have never thought of before. So in this context, the piece “Cat-Pig-Man-Woman” is like a cartoon in some ways, but is the culmination of a typographical process.

Kaoru Kasai
Born in Hokkaido in 1949. Working at SUN-AD Co., Ltd. 
He has been involved in a wide range of projects such as the long term advertising for Suntory Oolong-tea (since 1982) and United Arrows (since 1997) as well as corporate identity and signage, space planning and book design. His recent work includes a total graphic work for Toraya Cafe at the Roppongi Hills, direction and signage plan for Suntory’s new corporate identity, title design and advertising art for films such as “Nobody Knows” and “Hana yorimo naho” (direcotor: Hirokazu Koreeda), and book design for Yasumasa Morimura’s photography book “Barco negro na mesa”.