Friday, September 25, 2009

Logos and designs in different languages

Something you don't see everyday (at least in this country!). We're constantly surrounded by examples of typography designed using the Latin alphabet, so it's interesting to see typography from a non-alphabetic origin. I stumbled across some cool flags from Japan.

Itami municipality: The kanji 伊 (i), symbolizing a swan of the Koya Pond. (Wiki)

Every municipality in Japan has a flag, which incorporates parts of its name into some sort of design or logo that represents what that area is famous for (like the one above). Some flags are actually "picture-puzzles," leaving the viewer to try and decipher how the name is represented (like the one below). To be honest, my untrained eyes don't recognize most of the characters, even the ones in plain sight.

Omura (in Nagasaki): picture-puzzle logo features the kanji 大 (ō) surrounded by six (mu) katakana ラ (ra).

What are some other nifty type designs you've seen in other non-alphabetic languages?

Typographic town logos in hiragana/katakana (via PinkTentacle)
Bonus one in Arabic, it's a poem! (via Flickr)