In early November last year, Mohawk Connects, the largest paper manufacturer in the US with numerous outlets around the world, conducted an interview with type designer Toshi Omagari. They asked him about his work on his new Metro Nova typeface. The font was originally named Metro and was created in 1929 by William Addison Dwiggins – it has now been updated by Omagari.
Toshi Omagari studied at the Musashino Art University in Tokyo and the University of Reading in Britain. After graduating, he started at Monotype as a type designer, developing fonts for various alphabets, including Latin, Greek, Cyrillic and Mongolian.
While rejuvenating Metro, one of Omagari’s main aims was to pay adequate homage to Dwiggins and his first humanistic sans serif font. To begin with, there were two versions – Metro and Metro 2. It was the latter that prevailed and became better known, but Omagari is enthusiastic about both, despite their faults and drawbacks.
He explains that to make it easier to rework the font he decided to try to think like Dwiggins and recreate what he would have done if he were still alive. He wanted his revised version to remain true to Dwiggins’ concept and merely to improve on it.
In order to achieve this, Omagari modified both of the original versions to ensure that it is possible to switch between the two and use them in combination. It is for this reason, and in view of its versatility, that the font is not just a “great all-rounder” for Omagari but also the typeface that he loves.