All posts by Kumi Sakai Hori (Sakai)

Cross Year Studio – Technology

What I could learn through this workshop:

In today’s workshop, I made an original analogue clock using p5.js.
I only know a bit about JavaScript, and I have no experience writing it myself. So, it was challenging to create the design that I wanted to make. Especially when I put the numbers, I could not put them in the right place, so I put very random numbers to adjust. I want to know why the original formula did not work.


Position through △1 – Week02&03


I caught a cold and could not attend last week’s tutorial. I shared two weeks of progress this week.

What I did this week:

・Gathered two types of references – same position / opposite position
・Researched etymology of pig and pork
・Iterating package design as studio work – translation/investigation

Reference01 – Same position:

by Emma Erickson

The first thing I looked for was references that used illustrations of animals to encourage us to think about animal rights in a positive way. Emma Erickson’s illustrations of anthropomorphic animals give us a fun impression of the vivid colours. She was originally a scientist. She says that the purpose of her illustrations is to convey our everyday behaviours and interactions in an interesting way. She also felt she was unique in that she didn’t use her mouth to manipulate facial expressions to convey joy, anger, or sadness.

Reference02 – Different position:

by Kate Louise Powell

On the other hand, Kate Louise Powell’s illustrations contain poignant expressions. She is a vegan and an animal rights activist. When she posted her illustrations on social networks, she realised that illustrations have more strong power as information than using only words. So, she decided to use them as a communication tool to tell animal rights. 

Reference03 – Controversial position:

by Egle Zvirblyte

Another interesting reference that I wanted to share is the packaging design for vegan bacon. They completely re-constructed the existing meat package through colourful, sophisticated and eye-catching graphic design. Compared to the first reference, it is the fact that using vivid colours for packages can convey a positive impression to communicate about animal rights. The other unique thing on the package is that the anthropomorphic pig is eating the vegan bacon. It gives me the impression that the pig is cannibalising. However, the designer may have intended to emphasise that even pigs can be eaten because they are vegan or express pigs are human’s friends through anthropomorphic illustrations.

Reference04 – humanistic food characters:

I have collected some additional examples of humanistic food illustrations and analysed the purposes for which anthropomorphic ingredients are used daily.
Left) Oden-kun: Oden is one of the Japanese traditional meals. It is an animation about their ordinary life.
Centre) Sausage Party: A story about sausages running away after learning they are ingredients.
Right) Yasaiccho: An animation to help children overcome their dislike of vegetables

Pig or Pork – Etymology

According to eGullet, it all goes back to the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066. When the French took over England, there became two ways of saying a lot of words, and from a gastronomic standpoint, the French won out (as they usually do). 
This is likely because the lower-class Anglo-Saxons were the hunters (so we get the animal names from them), and the upper-class French only saw these animals on the dinner table (so we get the culinary terms from them).
So the Anglo-Saxon pig became the French porc, which was Anglicized to pork; the Anglo-Saxon cow became the French boeuf, which became beef; and sheep became mouton (later mutton). Even chicken got a new culinary name: pullet, which is the Anglicized version of the French poulet and is now only used to refer to a young hen. All of those French terms are still the French words for those animals (as well as their meat) today. As for fish, we most likely still call it fish because the French term for it, Poisson, is too close to the English word poison.

Pig or Pork – Freepik & Google:

Studio Works:

Based on this research, I knew that the elements that evoke the existence of life through package design are influenced by various aspects of design. Therefore, I investigate what kind of impression changes can be made by breaking down various elements (colour, content, typeface, texture) through the current pork meat package design.

Studio work01 – Translation:

What could I learn?

  • all of the translating designs do not make us feel that meat is life.
  • The package design that wants to express a sense of luxury for wine and cheese is similar in tone to organic raw meat packages.
  • If a pork package has the character of an unrelated creature on it, it can be confusing to know what kind of meat we are eating.

Studio work02 – Investigation:

What could I learn?

  • Regarding the illustrations, expressions that suggest that the pig has emotions reminiscent of death will create negative emotions.
  • If a picture of a pig shows grass, it gives the impression that animal rights are protected or that the meat is organic.
  • There’s a sense of déjà vu when I see an illustration of a pig dressed as a chef, so we can see it in many different scenes daily.

Studio work03 – Investigation:

What could I learn?

  • As a result of the iterations, I felt that it was easier to manipulate people’s emotions through package design by using the order of photos > colours > fonts > words.
  • This result is also used in current cigarette packaging.

How do I continue to the next step?

I do not change my mind to convey the importance of animals’ lives in a positive way through package design. Therefore, I continue these iterations and explore the design ideas and possibilities.


・In the Translation project, it is possible to see the context by translating a more comprehensive range of package designs than just products sold in supermarkets.
・It may be possible to redefine not only the label design but also the other elements. (Materials, formats, etc.) It’s a good idea to collect elements that can be learned from other products, such as computer packaging or cosmetic packaging.
・By analysing things designed to attract people’s attention, such as billboards and road signs, it may be possible to explore the possibility of packaging with more impact.

Cross Year Studio – Language

What I learned through this workshop:

In today/s workshop, I created a Type Specimen A4 poster to analyse typography. I chose Monotype Grotesque, designed by Hinman Pierpont in 1926, to learn more about the Sans serif font, which has been trending for over 10 years.

There are four main categories in Sans serif font, which are Grotesque, Neo Grotesque, Geometric and Humanistic. A grotesque font was created at the beginning of the arrival of Sans serif fonts. Therefore, I thought it was appropriate to learn what Sans serif font is.

My first impression of Monotype Grotesque was cool because it includes a hand-made atmosphere created before the digital era. Especially details of curves, for example, lowercase a and r, and uppercase Q and J. Compared to humanistic fonts, which were created recently, this font looks more analogue in the details of typeface design.

Position through △1 – Week01

Feedback on the first introduction through dialogue :

・Cami advised me to decide on the target audience as specifically as possible.
・My line of enquiry was unclear: I should set the purpose of this project and relations between animal welfare and design role.
・Matthew asked me to think about What I can ‘hyper-focus in something’.
・Matthew advised me to focus on media rather than ethical issues since it is a project as a graphic designer. And I should pursue how the media can contribute to this issue.

What I did this week:

・Created the diagram(iteration)
・Setting the target audience
・Started doing the research


The topic in the previous term was about the possibilities of expressing emotional complexity through typeface design. Since the main feedback was about narrowing the target and topic itself, I decided to focus on complex feelings when people eat meat nowadays.
I start the investigation by analysing the current meat package design at a supermarket, which is one of the first touch points when people decide to eat meat. Regarding methods, I continue to use all the methods I have learned from last year.

Lines of enquiry:

Based on the diagram I created, I started thinking about what I could do as a graphic designer for animals. I am currently not vegan/vegetarian and eat meat a few times per week. However, I sometimes think about not eating meat to keep some animal’s life. It sounds better than the current habit. Even so, I still cannot stop eating meat to take protein and enjoy meals. That’s why I decided to explore another way to contribute to this issue as a graphic designer.

Target audience:

I do not want to design the package to appeal to consumers’ conscience in this project. The reason is this approach goes against the passion of farmers who look after their pigs with special care, even if it might be the most effective way to reduce the total consumption of meat. In addition, if the consumers stop purchasing feeling guilty, the meat at a supermarket will only lead to food waste. Therefore, I decided to set the target audience for the CEO of a supermarket in the UK, the company side.


I compared pork meat packages from the five leading supermarkets in the UK. Many supermarkets have two different lines, which are the best values one and the organic one(more expensive than the former). Interestingly, the label design of each supermarket is very similar. They use blue for the best value one and green/black for the organic one. The function of the package label is to tell this information: what meat, what part of the meat, expiration date, from the British, from the trusted farmer, and how to keep it. There is little information to tell about animal rights.


・I should try translating another food package design to a pork package label in order to analyse what elements of a package lead people to positive/negative emotions.
・I should analyse what elements or aspects of the food package make it feel artificial or natural.
・I should consider additional layers for people who choose not to eat pork for religious reasons.

Position through dialogue


In this dialogue, I interviewed four times about my project during the summer holiday from June to September 2023. The original theme was emotional typeface design. However, after the first interview with Laura Knight, I decided to change the topic and my line of enquiry. Because I could not find the specific topic, I would like to narrow it down. In terms of emotion, the easiest way to narrow it down is by choosing one specific emotion, yet my interest in emotion was the complexity of every emotion. So I decided to choose the specific theme that people have the complexity of emotion, which is eating meat.

Nowadays, the number of vegetarian/vegan people is increasing. There are lots of reasons to be a vegetarian, but one of the most obvious reasons is environmental problems and animal rights.
Personally, I am not a vegetarian or vegan. But I sometimes question these things: ’Is eating meat not a good thing for animals…?’ ’Should I stop eating meat as my justice…?’ To be very honest, I enjoy eating meat, but I feel some wrong feelings and a sense of guilt with the current consumption systems of meat.
Can I visualise something as a graphic designer for the relationship between animal rights and eating meat?
That was my starting point for this summer holiday.

Interview 01 – Guest tutor, Laura Knight
5th June

Regarding the interview with Laura Knight, it was the time that I could learn how to narrow down the topic. She read my blogs before the interview and prepared some references that are useful for my research.
Firstly, she suggested I use this format to choose the specific target audience.

How to make a specific context
To design a … (format)
About… (topic)
That… (who is the audience)
Can use to… (what will they know to think or understand as a result?)

In addition, she shared some relative references for emotion, design systems and typeface design. I list these links below:

They explore systematic and algorithmic methods in type design, graphic design and moving images. Since Paul McNeil is a typographic designer and a researcher, their works show me how to expand abstract ideas into design systems.

②experimental type by Laura Knight
This is the blog that Laura has scrapped relative articles with experimental typeface design.

③Amuki Studio
She is also a typeface designer. Her typeface designs are very artistic. Laura showed me her work to tell me how much I should narrow down the topic.

I tried to pick up one specific topic I am interested in: the recruiting system in Japan. In this case, the target audience is the 3rd year university students looking for a job after graduation. I knew that these kinds of specifications were required, even though I did not choose this topic.

To sum up the interview for Laura Knight, I have learnt the techniques for narrowing down the topic and making the line of enquiry as much as possible.

Interview 02 – Susan Askew(Artist)
28th July

I met Susan Askew, an artist doing the MA in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art. She has been creating some installations about the relationship between humans and animals in the future in a speculative way.
I showed my project on the Method of Cataloguing and asked her what to think. She advised me that I should try to understand my perspective and what I want to do through my work as a person who is not vegan/vegetarian but wants to do something as a graphic designer.
Also, she recommended I add the perspectives of pigs to the current package. For example, why do we call pork only eating? How does a pig’s mom feel when her children become pork meat? and so on.

Interview 03 – Group discussion with Natsuki Numao(Editor), Erica Miura, Saki Machida(Illustrator)
19th August

Since starting this course, I have made time for group discussions with my Japanese friends once a month to share what I have learnt at the university and organise my thoughts to iterate the explanation about my research.
On 19th August, we have time to discuss the current meat consumption. I decided to find the way that people are evoked in terms of how we eat life when we eat meat without negative feelings.
One of the discussion members gave me the idea of finding the same things between pigs and humans as mammals. Getting pregnant or becoming a mother could be the key word to re-constructing the current package design.
In addition, a member gave me the reference: Gunda, a Russian documental movie about pig’s mother.


Interview 04 – Kaoru Nakada(Designer)

The last interview during the summer holiday was for a graphic and UI/UX designer, Kaoru Nakada. She is living in London and working for a digital branding agency.
She reminds me that the package is not the only media through visual communications. For example, if a supermarket shows pictures of the differences in breeding environments between the best-priced one and the organic one on the meat counter, the selection of customers could be changed.
In addition, there is a farm which has a policy for selling their meat after learning about how they grow their animals. – Tamana Farm in Kumamoto, Japan.
So I should carefully choose my media and try many possibilities to make my topic deeper.

Position through contextualising – Week 03

Feedback of the last week

In the third week, I created a publication about the emotional progress of my trip to Santorini, from starting to plan to the final day. I also made a block calendar where people can express their everyday feelings through typeface designs of the number. 
The main feedback was that the block calendar works better than the publication to express my complexity of feelings through typeface design since I adopted visual systems. However, it is still limited to expressing emotions because the calendar only has the number as verbal information. So I decided to create a modular typeface design for the next exploration.

Experiment with modular typeface

In the modular typeface experiment, I followed the ‘form-based flexible visual systems’ from the book (pp.85). The author introduces simple regulations of a form-based visual system with geometric shapes in this chapter. In order to increase the variety of the outcome, the author recommends cutting geometric shapes and assembling them again by rotating and mirroring. So as the first step, I created essential components for the typeface design, like the picture below. After creating components, I made a few letters by mixing them and observed modular typeface could express emotion.

In the following step, I added colours to the modular typeface to set the direction of emotions from positive to negative. In order to add colours, I created five different colour combinations, which idea comes from the book, ‘Design and Emotion: The Experience of Everyday Things’. 

The book introduces the workshop to explore colour mood boards by combining colours. The given emotive words: depression, passion, tranquillity, neutrally, and aggression, come from the reference book. I connected three colours intuitively and applied each letter to express the diversity of the emotion. Then the modular typeface becomes more powerful in conveying various emotions than the black version.

However, I observed that not only colours but also the shape of components should have a wider variety for using abstract shapes, like the most negative version below.

Through the feedback, I’ve got the idea to create a more organic version, which may not keep legibility but has some emotional impression. Additionally, I feel that the balance of the typeface design between discipline and chaos is the key to creating the latest modular typeface.

Position through contextualising – Week 02

A quick review of previous week

In the first week, I categorised my reference list into three (typeface, design and emotion) and put a direction for each research to keep narrative analysis.

Afterwards, I created a publication containing some small experiments and a mockup of the visual system based on the reference material.

Making the third publication

The third publication introduces my trip to Santorini island from 27th to 30th August 2021. The content of the publication starts on the first day of planning and ends on the last day of the trip. On each page, I expressed how my emotions changed during the journey using typeface, colours and layout instead of directive verbal explanation about emotion. Regarding the composition, every page contains a symbolic typeface motif, a date, a small brief, and the sun as a symbol of time processing. I focused on the subjective typeface design and the relevancy of each element by practical layout.

I adopted the harmonic division of the root-2 rectangle, introduced by the book Balance in Design (2005) Elam (p. 37). The rectangle was divided vertically and horizontally into thirds, then vertically and horizontally into squares. It became the standard regulation of the whole publication and enabled intuitively beautiful layouts.

Tschichold, J. (1937) Konstruktivisten. Balance in Design: Bnn inc.

In terms of the Sun motif, I followed the idea from the elegant poster by Jan Tschichold from an exhibition of constructivist art in 1937. Jan Tschichold describes it is possible to achieve the purpose of graphic communication through the rhythm and proportion of the minimum necessary elements themselves rather than additional decoration or decorative typefaces. (Asymmetric Typography p.26)

Tschichold, J. (1937) Konstruktivisten. Balance in Design: Bnn inc.

Regarding the composition, the circle’s diameter is one-third of the width of the poster, and it is also used as a scale for arranging the elements. This circle is a focal point and eye-catching effect that successfully emphasises the exhibition title and exhibitor list. In addition, the date and time of the exhibition are equal to the distance between the circle and the distance between the exhibition title and the horizontal line, and the exhibition title is placed in the centre of the circle. (Elam, 2005)

Additionally, the author mentions the proportion of the format(left) and the square for the composition(right) (Elam p.91). The rectangular structure is based on the pentagon, and the top of the pentagon becomes the rectangle’s width. Moreover, the square for the composition makes the design more gripping.

Subsequently, I continued to research fonts. This time, I decided to use Sans-serif fonts, assuming subjective usage. I picked up four typefaces from the book The field guide to Typography (2013) and compared their legibility and features: Fedra Sans, Rotis Sans Serif, Kade Letter Fabriek and Neutraface.
In the beginning, I printed sample texts to confirm the legibility of the paper, and Fedra Sans or Kade Letter Fabriek would be suitable for the theme of a trip to Santorini. Then I compared the background of each typeface design and chose Fedra Sans as the primary typeface for the publication because the concept of Fedra Sans font is a ‘human presentation style’ (p. 165, 2013).

In the publication, each process of my trip explains six emotions through small typographic experimental works, including the same method in previous iterations.
Consequently, the understanding between typefaces and emotions has taken a step forward in exploring complex emotions through visual language rather than direct words.
For further experiments, I would like to pursue even more precise output and explore how accurately my intended emotions can be conveyed through graphic communication, learning about emotional complexity and cognition process. In addition, I also want to explore the connection with visual systems to express emotional flexibility.

Mockup of a block style calendar for creating a visual system

In my research about the flexibility of the visual system, I created a simple mockup of a block-shaped calendar in which people can express their emotions through the tone of each number. It succeeds in the way of graphic communication design through the system. I plan to make the second mockup specifically for communication in typography design.

Position through contextualising – Week 01

Line of enquiry

Through my previous written response (Position through iterating), I got the line of enquiry as ‘How can I expand the possibility to express human complexity of emotions/sensations through typefaces?’. Visually speaking, I would like to fill the gap between verbal expression and real emotion, like the diagram above.

Gathering References

Regarding my references, I set three categories to develop my line of enquiry: emotion, design and typeface. In addition, I put a direction for each category to keep the narrative.
As for typeface, its role differs depending on whether the writer who created the text is the solely the medium of the text (objectivity) or the central figure of the text (subjectivity). In terms of a relationship between emotions/sensations and textual communications, the latter case seems to show ‘emotions’ intentionally. Therefore, I decided to focus on the subjective use of typefaces in this research.
Concerned about emotional complexity through visual language, the flexibility of design or adjustable format could be one of the solutions, so I started learning about visual systems.
Lastly, I should learn more about emotion academically since it is an intangible and subconscious topic. Learning about the cognition process of emotions could be helpful in prioritising typefaces, colours and a layout.

Printing experiments

Alongside my research, I did small experiments this week to try new printing methods: Riso printing and foil printing. The purpose of investigations in graphic communication design was to explore colour combinations and a mixture of typefaces.

In the first stage, I created two gradient colour circles with different variations: cold and warm, by Riso printing. 
Regarding a cold-colour gradient circle, I adopted the blue-greenish gradients, which idea comes from the colour of the universe in the book Design and Emotion: The Experience of everyday things (2004) Wilson and Challis, (p. 179). In this book, the researchers note that ‘the colour of the universe revealed by two American researchers, Dr Karl Glazebook and Dr Ivan Baldry, that the average colour of the universe is a greenish hue halfway between aquamarine and turquoise. However, when young stars dominated the universe, the average colour was blue.’ This could be why people can feel calm. Additionally, it is the colour of the Virgin Mary. 
In contrast, I created a warm-colour gradient circle with pink-yellowish colours to make it different from the cold version. In comparison, the cold-colour circle looks more neutral than the warm-colour circle if I use them as a metaphor for emotion.

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I continued to do foil printing with a typeface experiment. I created two types of ‘emotion’ designs with seven different fonts to express the diversity of emotion. In this experiment, I avoid using Sans-serif fonts because in the book Modern Typography (1992) by Kinross (p. 158-182), the author introduces Sans-serif fonts as a part of modernism, machinery and mass productive creation, which does not suit the complexity of human emotion.
Regarding the printing process, I attempted to print letters on the circle (Riso printing) with silver foil and on the paper directly with black foil. The quality of the outcome between the two experiments is almost the same. However, silver foil on Riso printing made more emotional texture since the rough paper was unsuitable for foiling and unexpectedly showed the complex surface, which is like emotion.