typographic reflections, project fukushima

helmut schmid


it took me some time to find a project that touches on the nature-made and man-mad disaster at fukushima 11 march, 2011.

when i found that fukushima means happy island in english, i thought this ironic translation would fit as final typography project at kobe design university. i then set the words, happy island fuku shima, in black on white paper and asked the students to add their message in japanese in ming-cho type on my design. for me it was the first time to collaborate with the students and i expected creative messages and powerful designs.

instead of challenging the given design, student mayuko morimoto tried to find a space in the design where she could place her message. somehow like a musician who takes up a tone from another musician and continues it into a new melodic tone. it was such an unexpected solution that i decided to devote issue 8 of typographic reflections to her sensitive, thoughtful work, using her words to explain her messages. ...