Designer Masaaki Hiromura has combined typography with symbols and signs in this wonderful Japanese food type, which replaces specific portions of kanji words with the food ideogram that the word embodies. The result is a clean, iconic look that communicates ideas without a need to understand Japanese characters– in other words, type that has replaced words with symbolism.
Hiromura designed the type by “looking at the meanings each kanji letter has. Making a part of the letter an illustration gets the right and left brain working at the same time, and it increases one’s attention.” [Via Design Boom.]
I’m amazed by the care he’s invested into each character– the shapes of the food mimic the shape of the actual word, and the new type is entirely readable by both English and Japanese/Chinese speakers alike. The stoke and style of the kanji is also in line with the cleanliness of the icon, whether its an eggplant or an octopus.
Also, that noodle character could absolutely be a new logo for a noodle shop somewhere in the East Village.