Designing Beyond Stroke and Stem

Written by

Lisa Appelqvist

As we navigate the nascent chapters of a new year, we delve into the creative process of the 2024 calendar from Morisawa - an initiative dedicated to crafting a unique typographic calendar through collaboration, where our founder, Bo Linnemann, has lent his design prowess to shape one of the months. Emphasising the keyword "joint", a term central to both typography and the collective creative effort, this project showcases the synergy of diverse artistic minds.

Morisawa, a Japanese type and font company, has been creating corporate calendars featuring Japan's top graphic designers since 1972. Throughout the years, the calendar has been released in three different series editions: Collaboration series with graphic designers (1972-1986), Man & Writing (1984-2006), and Kana Series (2007-2023). This year, as a homage to their 100th anniversary of the invention of phototypesetting, Morisawa has taken it upon themselves to gather 12 eminent designers from all over the world to each interpret a shared topic and incorporate this into a design for an assigned month. Our very own founder and backbone, Bo Linnemann, is one of the appointed designers and set out to create the design for August.

The making of August

The project crafts a unique typographic calendar through collaboration, with an art direction by Japanese graphic designer Taku Satoh. The concept of "joint" is not merely the spot where a stroke joins a stem; it embodies a profound idea that mirrors our interconnected global society. Bo Linnemann intricately created a transcendent design for August, which thoughtfully encapsulates this theme, offering a perspective on how time and space converge.

In a world characterised by globalisation, we find ourselves navigating an intricate web of weeks, dates, and time zones. The design for August captures this complex dance of days, where the start of a new day in one part of the world seamlessly blends with the closing of another day elsewhere.

The deliberate overlapping of days in the design mirrors our shared experiences in an interconnected world. It invites us to ponder the notion that the actions and events of one day have a ripple effect across the globe – how we are all part of a global tapestry where, much like overlapping days, our stories are intertwined and woven together in a refined pattern.

Bo Linnemann

A worldwide collaboration - 2024 in the eyes of 12 designers

The twelve eminent designers and typographers from all over the world chosen for this project were, in the order of the months, Katsumi Asaba (Japan), Ahn Sang-soo (Korea), Aaron Nieh (Taiwan), Han Gao (China), Anuthin Wongsunkakon (Thailand), Nadine Chahine (Lebanon), Kateryna Korolevtseva (Ukraine), Bo Linnemann (Denmark), André Baldinger (Switzerland), Jonathan Barnbrook (England), Flávia Nalon (Brazil) and John Maeda (USA).

In the tapestry of creativity, each designer contributed their distinctive design, crafting a unique interpretation of the shared theme. From the nuanced dance of numbers to the exclusive use of letters and from vibrant colours to grayscale palettes, each month unfolds a unique visual story. October captivates with intricacy, while June embraces minimalism. February takes a straightforward approach, while September stands out with its unconventional design.

Although disparate across continents, the individual expressions intertwine. They form a collaborative masterpiece – a calendar that reflects the diverse strokes of twelve creative minds united in a shared vision. In the hands of these designers, the theme "joint" ceased to be a mere typographic element; it became a philosophy, an exploration of how collaboration can transcend geographical distances, cultural nuances, and artistic styles.

As we flip through its pages, we witness not just the passage of time but the convergence of creative minds, proving that in the world of design, borders dissolve, and imagination knows no bounds. Elementally, it is all about designing beyond stroke and stem.


Lisa Appelqvist

PR & Communications

Lisa Appelqvist