Biro copperplate

Lettering for a book cover, like a Copperplate or wedding-style script written with a ballpoint pen. The idea was to take an ‘old’ letterform derived from writing with a quill, with stresses derived from the angle the quill is being held, and by removing the stress remove what makes that letterform look old.

The Bosozoku are a Japanese motorbike gang, thought to be  the first rung to joining the Yakuza crime syndicate. Their uniform is a jumpsuit, like the one worn by factory or manual workers, decorated with militaristic slogans, patriotic rising sun patches and ancient Chinese characters. Their symbol is a flower device. The Bosozoku lettering is a decorative, formal monolinear type that is expressive enough to be in the same world as the slogans and symbols worn by the gang members. As with their decorated uniforms and gaudily customised motorcycles it is an opposite to the violence of their aggressively thuggish reputation.

This book of photographs by Masayuki Yoshinagawas produced in two-sided concertina format with two covers. Studio portraits of gang members with and without their bikes one side, reportage street photos the other.

Typeface released as Civilty and available from type.co.uk, t26.com and veer.com