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IDEA 401:
Bringing navigation and signage with design

idea is a Japanese magazine founded in 1953. It has played an important role in spreading Japanese graphic design around the world. Early 2023, we were contacted for an interview about the relationship between space and characters. This is the second time we're lucky enough to appear in the magazine, after &Form made us part of the → FormSWISS special issue(s)

About the 401st issue 

"[…] This 401st issues of idea magazine focuses on Wayfinding for City Spaces. 

Wayfinding design continuously develops in space, navigating people geographically and informationally. It also creates the character of the city. In other words, signage design is an interface that connects cities and people, and plays an important role in shaping the individuality and experience of spaces. Among the diverse fields covered by graphic design, it can be said that it is a node that strongly reflects the connection with the city. […]

Therefore, in this special feature, we have collected contributions and proposals from people involved in urban space and design, centering on the practices of four design offices that are active around the world. […] We asked Swiss Typefaces, who specializes in typeface design, about the relationship between space and characters, and how they collaborate with designers who apply those characters." – Idea 401st issue presentation, translated from japanese,

Developing custom fonts for specific environments: the interview

Space, identity design, and research: those were the driving themes for this interview. Over the years, we were able to work on many different projects and collaborations, all differing in sizes, environment, and needs. From city signage and wayfinding for the City of Stockholm or the parkings in Lausanne, to roadsigns and transportation vehicles in Dubai, we made our fonts travelled and lived outside our screens! Of course, there are a lot of details to consider when working both for digital or outdoors projects, while being aware that industry needs are ever evolving. 

Reflecting on our creative process and collaborations over the years, we also discussed about the importance of going beyond the industry standards and keep on researching to find the magic in what we do. This is exactly what we do through the LAB and our catalog.

Interested in reading the full interview?

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