Handwritten Character Templates, by Masahiro Anesaki / a small 260-page paperback with jacket, 4 x 6 inches, reprinting a 1926 book / ISBN 9784861526367 / text in Japanese / published by Seigensha
A revised reprint of Masahiro Anezaki’s ‘Practical Ornamental Characters and Designs’, first published in 1926, this book reproduces and rearranges the entire archive of characters he collected and edited. At the outset of the 20th century, long before typesetting and words like typography and lettering became established in Japan, designers in the commercial art field carefully drew characters by hand, one at a time, directly onto a variety of media. This included bills, flyers, signboards, posters, and more. Unlike what is seen in modern typography today, these handwritten characters contain a wealth of creativity and dynamism, reflective of the unconventional spirit of the time.
Also see: A Compilation of Contemporary Letter Designs and Taisho Typography