1. “The powerful impact that graphic design has on emotions | UE Germany.” University of Europe for Applied Sciences, 20 April 2022,
Fig. I Confidence

Emotions are inseparable from and a necessary part of thought. Everything we do, everything we think, is tinged with emotion, much of it is subconsciously. In turn, emotions change the way we think and constantly guide us to behave rationally. The influence of emotions on human thought and behavior is universal, and impacts design thinking and creativity. Thought about context, feelings, purpose, objects, links, organization, patterns, functions, comparisons, fitness, and potentials are all subjects for the Relational Mode of design thinking. As humans, we naturally tend to associate our encounters with emotions. We interpret the world around us based on how things and situations affect our feelings, with visuals serving as a crucial factor in this process.1 

Living alone in a culturally disparate environment, distanced from the comforting presence of family, friends, and cherished ones, I frequently found myself grappling with the pangs of solitude. Amidst these moments of isolation, I sought solace and purpose through the exploration of innovative design concepts, channeling my energies into tangible manifestations of creativity. Designing the project “Confidence” (Fig. I), I used green nail polish as a medium for crafting intricate hand lettering. This project not only served as a therapeutic outlet but also symbolized a bold stride towards reclaiming agency and self-assurance in the face of profound loneliness. 


Typeface Design
Growing up, my fondest memories revolve around visiting the fair with my father. Each time, he would indulge me with a Firki, a whimsical paper fan that danced effortlessly in the wind. Its graceful movements never failed to spark joy within me. Inspired by its appealing shape, Firki embodies my deep-seated love for typefaces as vehicles for storytelling.

Crafted from the multiplied shape of the Firki itself, each letter in it infuses whimsical charm reminiscent of the playful paper fan. Yet, it is more than just a tool for conveying words—it's a celebration of typography as a means to create new narratives.

With its bold and extra bold weights, it transcends the confines of traditional typefaces, transforming text into a visual feast where every letter becomes a work of form in its own right. Every stroke and curve embodies a harmonious balance between form and function.

Firki is available in three distinct weights, the regular weight prioritizes legibility, ensuring clear communication, while the bold and extra bold weights serve to craft a beautiful narrative. These weights also play a pivotal role in creating type as form, adding depth and dimension to design.

Packaging, acrylic stencil, specimen, 
Saddle stitched, 6 × 8 × 0.3 in.

Pixeluminate is a stencil typeface born from the game “Billionaire Banshee.”1 With its pixel-based style, this stencil embodies the charismatic and quirky spirit of the game, inviting you to explore your text in a fresh and engaging light.

What sets Pixeluminate apart is its ability to infuse your text with a sense of novelty and excitement. Each character within this stencil serves as a pixelated puzzle piece, reminiscent of the whimsical decision-making process that characterizes the game.

Indeed, Pixeluminate adds an intriguing dimension to your words, transforming them into playful manifestations of personality. With its unique style and captivating allure, this stencil invites you to unleash your creativity and embrace the joy of storytelling in a whole new light.

Zin Nagao

Read the full interview here.

Dhwani Garg
Could you share a bit about your background and what drew you to experimental type design?

Zin Nagao
I was born in the countryside, in Saga Prefecture. I studied design in high school and vocational school, but it was mainly in vocational school that I started experimental type design. I was sad when my teacher was strict with me in typography class, and at the same time I thought, “I want to get better at typeface production!” I wanted to get better at typeface creation. From there, I started creating typefaces every day.
What aspect of experimental type captivated you more rather than traditional type design?

I really wanted to learn traditional type design, but it was too specialized and difficult, and there was no one around who could teach it. At first, I experimented with typefaces as if I was doing a puzzle. When a typeface design conference was held in Tokyo, I went to show the typefaces I had created as a portfolio to the typeface designers. The Japanese typeface designers did not praise me because they said, “You have to take a long time to create a high-quality typeface,” but the foreign typeface designers said, “There are not many people who can create this way. You can go on more.” This gave me confidence.
What do you like most and least about experimental type?

What I like is that it can be made in a short time, and what I dislike is that it requires a lot of ingenuity.

Fig. I
I am very much intrigued by the details ZNVT8 (Fig. I) typeface. Could you share your process and how challenging was it to design the punctuation?
At that time, I was mainly using a grid to create typefaces, so I thought I could create typefaces by creating a format and subtracting from it. A mere square wasn’t that interesting, so I created a parallelogram by combining a large square and a small square.

How long did it take for you to begin the ZNVT8 (Fig. I) typeface and finish the publish version?
I think it was about 2 hours.