Noramoji Project saves old Japanese fonts from store fronts, reproduces and distributes them


This morning I want to share a little about a really incredible typography initiative from Japan called the Noramoji Project. Ongoing for a few month now, the project’s goal is to capture older, interesting fonts seen in the real world (on store fronts, for example), and then analyze their characteristics to extrapolate a complete font set.

Here’s a short (lightly edited) excerpt from the project website:

Original fonts used in the signs of local stores may not be sophisticated as a precisely designed commercial font, but have a unique charm. This project’s starting point was to rediscover the appeal of craftsmanship and the aging of the materials. After rediscovering and analysis, fonts are reproduced from them. Distribution of the font will make it possible for people to know about the font. […] Profits from the font will be refunded to the owner of the signs, helping the font and the sign to survive. Why not give it a try?

If you like this idea, consider getting behind it buy purchasing some fonts (there’s a donate option that gives back to store owners), or one of the many cool t-shirts from their web store.