Shodo, or the art of Japanese calligraphy, is an ancient art originated in China with 4000 years history.Its main focuses are simplicity, beauty, and, most importantly, a mind-body connection. Shodo was influenced by, and influenced, Zen thought.
True Shodo is achieved by applying the elements of art, specifically line, shape and space. The shape of the line assists in displaying the desired effect of the artwork. Often the line is drawn with a specific focus such as love, determination, or positivity. These feelings can often dictate the type of line that follows, whether it is wavy, straight, or curved. The tension of the line can also be created in this fashion.
For any particular piece of paper, the calligrapher has but one chance to create with the brush. The brush strokes cannot be corrected and even a lack of confidence will show up in the work. The calligrapher must concentrate and be fluid in execution. The brush writes a statement about the calligrapher at a moment in time. Through Zen, Japanese calligraphy absorbed a distinct Japanese aesthetic often symbolized by the ensō or circle of enlightenment.
Zen calligraphy is practiced by Buddhist monks and most shodō practitioners. To write Zen calligraphy with mastery, one must clear one's mind and let the letters flow out of themselves, not practice and make a tremendous effort.
Japanese philosopher Nishida Kitaro (1870-1945) believed that true creativity is not the product of consciousness but rather the "phenomenon of life itself." To write Zen calligraphy with mastery, one must clear one's mind and let the letters flow out of themselves, not practice and make a tremendous effort. It is based on the principles of Zen Buddhism, which stresses a connection to the spiritual rather than the physical.
Zenfont combines Zen spirits and the beauty of Shodo. All the strokes are inspired by Shodo strokes, flow up and down on the pages, to create a overall rhythm among the letters.
The font is display at Fridayfonts.com and available for download for free.
Design process of Zenfont
I also designed a magazine to display the font, it combines Swiss typography style and old Asian calligraphy elements, vibrant and funky color with texts set in grid, a mixture of modern and classic style.