Title:
'Exploring the conflict between legibility and limited space'
A workshop by Mr. Eiichi Kono
Typographer, UK

Abstract:  Setting text sets up font choices. There may be many different constraints on these choices, and the one we are going to concentrate on is setting a lot of text into a small space. This design problem occurs more often than we may realize, when we need to deliver essential or vital information in a limited space, using small point sizes. The challenge will be to fit specified texts into specified spaces. We will be identifying hierarchy of information and experimenting with font styles to identify the smallest most legible types. This exercise will open our eyes to the subtlest differences that make a huge difference to successful typography

Materials/ tools to be brought by student participants:

Students will need laptop with Illustrator / InDesign.

About Instructor:

Mr. Eiichi Kono


Eiichi Kono's interests have, for the past 30 years, centred around legibility and typographic design in mixed languages; English and Japanese, occidental and oriental, phonetic and picto-ideographic. Writing and reading are core human competencies which have been developing for thousands of years, and are now revolutionised by digital technologies and global communication. As web pages, ebooks, mobile and navigation systems have become the norm, legibility and readability on screen are vital. The design of typefaces for new media demands new approaches to visual recognition, perception, environment,production, transmission and dissemination, and fundamental appreciation of the origins and development of writing & reading. The key for good typeface design is knowing how to fully assess functionality and quality.

Born in Japan in 1941, Eiichi Kono began his working life in the photo optical industry in Tokyo with Carl Zeiss, and became fascinated by the universality of the Latin alphabet. This brought him to UK in 1974 as a mature student to learn typographic design at the London College of Printing, and on to the Royal College of Art, Graphic Information linked with the Readability Print Research Unit. He redesigned the London Underground's iconic typeface, Johnston Sans for text setting as well as display use in 1979, now known as New Johnston. He carried out the feasibility study for space saving and legibility for BT telephone directory in 1984, resulting in substantial cost savings; 3,000 tons of paper saving, £1m per year cost saving as well as achieving better legibility/usability. He also taught typography and Quantel graphic paint box at Middlesex Polytechnic between 1980 and 1988, and at Reading University in 2006. Graphic design consultancy work includes corporate identity, exhibitions, publishing design for The Economist, Pearson, Arts Council of Great Britain, Royal Academy of Arts, British Medical Journal, WHSmith, Toyota. Since 2002 as team leader,developing Meiryo, Japanese/Latin OpenType fonts with optimal on-screen legibility for Microsoft Windows Vista/7. Recently, Senior research fellow at University of Brighton, leading research into Edward Johnston's Legacy for CETLD (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning through Design led by University of Brighton with Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal College of Art, and Victoria & Albert Museum).